More areas of Magnesia, Thessaly, Central Greece, were being evacuated on Thursday afternoon under the threat of approaching fire, and while explosions were heard from an ammunition depot at the Nea Anchialos Air Force Base near the city of Volos.
Dramatic footage showed residents of all ages evacuating their homes, carrying children and pets in their arms, as the blaze, which has been raging in the area since Wednesday, rekindled and moved closer to inhabited areas.
Many were being evacuated by sea as church bells rang a warning for residents to flee.
Ammunition explodes at Greek Air Force Base caused by fires
The explosions from the Air Force Base in Nea Anchialos were reportedly seen and heard many kilometers away, shattering windows in the nearby village.
— Zoi Pourdala (@ZPourdala) July 27, 2023
— llátzer 🌋 (@llatzr) July 27, 2023
Footage from local TV station Astra TV shows a reporter falling to the ground during a live broadcast. One of the blasts could be seen in the distance behind her.
Massive explosion in an airforce ammunition depot in Volos (#Βολος) after flames entered the area surrounding the base of the 111th fighter wing.
— Damage Control (@WarInUkraineYet) July 27, 2023
Following the explosions, Hellenic Air Force aircraft, including F-16 fighter jets, were being relocated from the military airport, which houses the Tactical Air Force’s 111 Combat Wing.
The depot was reportedly already evacuated at the time of the explosions and the fire is still far from the main premises of the Air Force Base.
Magnesia residents flee to safety
Rekindling on Thursday resulted in the evacuation of several residential communities on Volos’ coastal front, from the city of Volos to the seaside village of Nea Anchialos, 18 km southeast of Volos, and the villages of Megali Velanidia, Marathos, and Kritharia.
Another fire rekindling occurred at Sesklo and Agios Georgios in Feres, near Velestino, where the fire first started on Wednesday, heading to Kastraki and Mikrothives, west of Volos, AMNA reports.
Orders for evacuations were conveyed through the state’s 112 emergency text messaging service.
Two people lost their lives in the same area on Wednesday.
— Marka2‼️ (@Marka2free) July 27, 2023
Lamia fire rekindled on Thursday evening
The fire that broke out on Wednesday in the city of Lamia, to the south of Volos, also in Central Greece, rekindled as well on Thursday evening.
One of the fire fronts moving toward the verdant Castle of Lamia from the northern side was contained thanks to a three-hour effort by two fire-fighting airplanes, a helicopter, and ground forces, including earth-moving machinery and water trucks.
A second front that was moving to a residential area was also reportedly contained.
Police used loudspeakers to warn residents near the fire fronts to evacuate. The municipality also evacuated the city’s public pool and had children transported to safety.