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Disaster of unprecedented proportions in
22 August 2021
Greece has been ravaged by hundreds of wildfires in August,
during its most severe heat wave in decades, which left
unprecedented devastation to the forests and towns.
Other Mediterranean countries – Turkey, Italy, Algeria and Spain
among them – have suffered similar problems.
The two major fires in Greece began in early August, one on the
island of Evia and another in a national park north of Athens.
The environmental devastation from the fires in northern Evia is
enormous, according to a statement issued by the
meteorological service of the National Observatory of Athens
According to the NOA, a total of 126,023 acres (or 510,000
stremmata) has been burned on the island of Evia.
The fires in August claimed the life of a volunteer fireman. In
2018, 102 people died in the fire at Mati, east of Athens, which
was the second-deadliest wildfire of the century after the 2009
bushfires in Australia which killed 173 people.
The fire at Mati also counted as the sixth-deadliest in the last
Scientists say there is little doubt that climate change from the
burning of coal, oil and natural gas is driving more extreme
Other affected areas in Greece include southern Peloponnese
Peninsula, near Ancient Olympia, and Fokida, in the Central
Greece region north of Athens.
Another serious fire ravaged Mount Parnitha – a national park
with substantial forests and the latest one that was burning until
several days ago was the town of Vilia, west of Athens. The
island of Rhodos has also been heavily affected by the August
Greece is facing a "natural disaster of unprecedented
proportions", Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said.
He apologized "for any weaknesses" on the part of the
government in containing the wildfires, which have destroyed
hundreds of homes and forced people to evacuate dozens of
villages over the past weeks.
"These last days have been some of the most difficult for our
country in decades," Mitsotakis said, blaming "the extreme heat
and months of drought".
Adelaide, South Australia