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Blaze verwoest het eiland Evia op de zesde dag van Griekse bosbranden

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A wildfire burns in the village of Vasilika, on Evia island, Greece, August 7, 2021. Picture taken August 7, 2021. REUTERS/Alexandros Avramidis

A wildfire burns in the village of Vasilika, on Evia island, Greece, August 7, 2021. Picture taken August 7, 2021. REUTERS/Alexandros Avramidis

Thousands of people have fled their homes on the Greek island of Evia as wildfires burned uncontrolled for a sixth day on Sunday (8 August), and ferries were on standby for more evacuations after taking many to safety by sea, schrijven Marco Trujillo en Karolina Tagaris.

Fires that had threatened northern suburbs of Athens in recent days died back somewhat. But the blaze on Evia, a large island east of the capital, quickly burgeoned into several fronts, ripping through thousands of hectares (acres) of pristine forest across its northern part, and forcing the evacuation of dozens of villages.

"I feel angry. I lost my home... nothing will be the same the next day," said one resident who gave her name as Vasilikia after boarding a rescue ferry at the village of Psaropouli.

“Het is een ramp. Het is enorm. Onze dorpen zijn verwoest, er is niets meer over van onze huizen, onze eigendommen, niets, niets”, zei ze.

Wildfires have erupted in many parts of the country during a weeklong heatwave, Greece's worst in three decades, with searing temperatures and hot winds creating tinderbox conditions. Across the country, forest land has burned and dozens of homes and businesses have been destroyed.

Griekenland heeft het leger ingezet om de branden te helpen bestrijden en verschillende landen, waaronder Frankrijk, Egypte, Zwitserland en Spanje, hebben ook hulp gestuurd, waaronder blusvliegtuigen.

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More than 570 firefighters are battling the blaze in Evia, authorities said.

The coastguard has evacuated more than 2,000 people, including many elderly residents, from different parts of the island since Tuesday, in dramatic sea rescues as the night sky turned red from the flames.

De gouverneur van Midden-Griekenland, Fanis Spanos, zei dat de situatie in het noorden van het eiland al bijna een week "zeer moeilijk" is.

“De fronten zijn enorm, het gebied met verbrand land is enorm”, vertelde hij aan Skai TV. Ruim 2,500 mensen zijn ondergebracht in hotels en andere opvangcentra, zei hij.

A fire on the foothills of Mount Parnitha north of Athens has been contained but weather conditions meant there was still a high threat it could flare again.

On Friday night, strong winds pushed the fire into the town of Thrakomakedones, where residents had been ordered to evacuate. The blaze left burnt and blackened houses and cars among scorched pine trees.

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