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Huge Fire Breaks Out on Corfu; Two Villages Evacuated

A helicopter drops water on a fire burning now in southern Corfu. Credit: Facebook/Piperis Piperis

A large fire broke out in southern Corfu, in the Ionian Sea, on Friday afternoon.
The forest fire started in the broader area of Kritika around 2 o’clock local time.
At least 34 fire fighters have rushed to the spot, and thirteen vehicles and two aircraft are now battling the blaze.
Local authorities on the island are also assisting the fire service with their equipment and additional aircraft are heading toward Corfu from other regions of Greece.
Nikoletta Pandi, the Deputy Regional Governor of the Ionian islands who is responsible for Corfu, has ordered the evacuation of the towns of Neochori and Paleochori, as the fire remains out of control at the present time.
Buses were expected to go to the villages in order to transport the residents to other parts of the island, where they would be safe.

Earlier on Friday, the Aegean island of Leros also experienced a large wildfire, which burned down the low vegetation around the area of Merikia.
A nearby hospital was also evacuated as a precautionary measure, while swimmers at a nearby beach were told to stay there for safety reasons.
Strong, gale-force winds and high temperatures are creating a dangerous situation currently in Greece, facilitating the rapid spread of any fires that do occur.

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