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Fires Rage On Across Greece as Temperatures Remain High

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Fires in Methana, Greece. Blazes broke out across the country over the weekend. Credit: AMNA

A series of forest fires have broken out across Greece as high temperatures and strong winds strengthened the blazes on Sunday.

Many of the fires, particularly those on the northern side of the Ionian island of Kefalonia, started on Saturday and continued on through Sunday.

On Kefalonia, firefighters have been working since noon on Saturday to reduce the destructive impact of the fires, which have reduced over 2,000 acres of forest and agricultural plots, including stables with livestock, to ash.

A total of 106 firefighters, along with 27 special vehicles, are fighting the blaze on the island.

Residents in the areas of Markopoulo, Kremmidi and Pastra, Agia Eirini, and Kapandriti were ordered to evacuate as the fires approached dangerously close to inhabited areas on Saturday, but many have since been permitted to return home.

Fires impact other areas of Greece

Fires also broke out near the town of Kypseli in Methana, which is located in the Peloponnese, on Sunday.

Forested areas as well as farmland were impacted by the fires, but no evacuations have been ordered.

As of Sunday evening, 56 firefighters, assisted by 21 vehicles, two specialized planes, and two helicopters, are fighting the blaze in the region.

Strong fires have also hit Ritsona, on the island of Evia, on Sunday, where 10 firefighters are battling to keep the flames from burning down large areas of farmland.

A team of 20 firefighters, 10 vehicles, and a helicopter are currently fighting the blaze.

Island of Cyprus hit by deadly blaze

The island of Cyprus, located in the eastern Mediterranean, was also hit by deadly fires on Saturday.

At least four people have died after forest fires raged through Cyprus, razing large swathes of land around the cities of Larnaka and Limassol on Saturday.

An estimated 55 square km, or over 13,000 acres, of land, as well as houses and other property, have been burned across Cyprus since the fire broke out.

Officials believe that the four burned bodies, found in a forested area near a village called Odou, belong to the four people of Egyptian descent who were reported missing on Saturday.

The fires have caused massive destruction in the areas surrounding Larnaka and Limassol, as the flames burned down houses and plots of land, threatening the lives of many.

Nikos Anastasiades, President of Cyprus, stated that the country had not faced such a dangerous, tragic situation since the Turkish Invasion of the island in 1974, which split the island in two and left thousands of Greek Cypriots dead, missing, or displaced.

Speaking to the Cypriot public on Sunday, Anastasiades stated that the fires are “a tragedy the likes of which we have never faced before, apart from the period of the Turkish Invasion in 1974.”

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