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Thousands of Tourists Evacuated as Wildfire Threatens Resorts on Rhodes

wildfire Rhodes tourists
At least two hotels have been evacuated in Rhodes as the wildfire approaches coastal resorts. Credit: AMNA

Thousands of tourists are being evacuated from local resorts on the Greek island of Rhodes as a wildfire burns out of control for a fifth day.

According to local site Rodiaki, the tourists are evacuated from “Lindian Village” and “Rodos Village”. There are more than 30 buses in the hotels to transport tourists to a safer area.

Upscale and semirural, Kiotari is a tranquil beach resort noted for its all-inclusive hotels with spas and pools. Divided by 2 small headlands, the long, black-pebble stretch of Kiotari Beach is overlooked by fine-dining restaurants, family-friendly pizzerias, and laidback seafood tavernas.

Authorities have also evacuated the village of Laerma and other settlements in the area.

Firefighters on Rhodes are continuing to fight wildfires on the island for the fifth consecutive day, as residents were evacuated from a central village on Friday night.

Villagers in Laerma received the 112 evacuation text message at around 10.30 p.m.

Tourists on Rhodes urged to move to a beach to escape wildfire

Tourists and local are urged to move to Lardos beach where the Greek Coast Guard has deployed a number of vessels in case an evacuation becomes necessary.

A large part of the island is without electricity as the power plant in south Rhodes has been shut down for safety reasons.

Firefighting aircraft assisting ground forces have been fighting the wildfire since the beginning of the week. Slovak firefighters have joined the firefighting effort on the island.

The wildfire is burning an area near the world-renowned resort of Lindos which is not in danger at present.

A Fire Service representative, speaking on SKAI radio, described the operation on Rhodes as a difficult one, with various challenges in the northern part of the island. Strong winds had pushed the fire south towards Laerma, which resulted in the evacuation order.

The Civil Protection Ministry has warned of a high-risk of fire in 7 of the country’s 13 regions on Saturday, namely Attica; Central Greece (in particular the regional units of Viotia, Evia, Fthiotida, Fokida); the Peloponnese; Western Greece; Thessaly (Larissa, Magnesia); South Aegean (Rhodes); and North Aegean (Samos, Ikaria).

Meteorologists are predicting that temperatures in Greece will reach 44°C (111.2°F) on Saturday and Sunday as an unprecedented heatwave hits Greece and southern Europe.

According to the Hellenic National Meteorological Service (EMY), the heatwave will culminate on Sunday. What makes matters worse is that after a brief respite on Monday, another heatwave is projected to hit Greece which would last until next weekend.

A Greek man died of heatstroke on Friday.

According to an official announcement by the Chalkida General Hospital in central Greece, a 46-year-old man died after being exposed to “a very high temperature.”

“Resuscitation, CPR, and intubation were performed to no avail. Possible cause of death is cardiorespiratory arrest after exposure to a very high temperature,” says the hospital’s statement.

This is a developing story

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