Makrymalli: Firefighters on the Greek island of Evia were still battling Wednesday to contain a fire that has caused massive damage to a pristine mountain wildlife habitat after threatening four communities.An Italian water bomber was expected to join the fray later in the day after Greece requested EU assistance. A second Italian plane and two more from Spain were due to arrive by the evening.”I think we will be able to limit the ecological losses.But three ambulances were stationed close to the area as a precaution.No injuries or respiratory problems that required hospitalisation wEre reported at the height of the emergency on Tuesday, Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias said in a tweet. It&Water Type PVC Hose Pipe39;s fortunate that we do not have human victims,” Thanassis Karakatzas, a deputy regional civil protection officer, told state agency ANA. At least two houses were burned but there were no reports of injuries..The area faced power outages and water cuts on Wednesday, residents said.”It’s a huge ecological disaster in a unique, untouched pine forest,” said acting regional governor Costas Bakoyannis.An Italian water bomber was expected to join the firefighter operations.”We succeeded in protecting human lives and saving properties,” said citizen’s protection minister Michalis Chrisohoidis.
Greece has been hit by a spate of wildfires since the weekend, fanned by gale-force winds and temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).Two more fires were doused on Saturday in Marathon, close to Mati, the coastal resort where 102 people died last year in Greece’s worst fire disaster.However, the fire has caused major damage to the 550-hectare wildlife habitat of Agrilitsa.”We should be able to tackle the fire by the end of the day,” Yiannis Razos, a local official, told Athens municipal radio.”From Psachna to Kontodespoti and Makrymalli everything has been burned down.Over 200 firefighters were in action backed by 75 fire trucks, nine water-bombing helicopters and seven planes along a 12-kilometre (seven-mile) front, managing to avert damage to inhabited areas.Other fires on Tuesday were contained on the island of Thassos, the central region of Viotia, and in the Peloponnese region.The fire has caused major damage to the 550-hectare wildlife habitat.European solidarity is tangible,” Stylianides told reporters.
EU Humanitarian Commissioner Christos Stylianides, who held talks with senior officials in Athens, called the mobilisation of Greek forces “exemplary”..The fire that broke out in the early hours of Tuesday on Greece’s second-largest island prompted the evacuation of the villages of Kontodespoti, Makrymalli, Stavros and # Platana, and threatened the town of Psachna during the night, officials said.On Sunday, a fire on the small island of Elafonissos, in the Peloponnese, was brought under control after a two-day battle.Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who cancelled his summer vacation and returned to Athens on Tuesday, acknowledged that the fire crews had had a gruelling battle, with the fire department handling about 50 blazes daily.On Monday, a major forest fire threatening homes in Peania, an eastern suburb of Athens, was brought under control. (AFP)”I am aware that our firefighters, particularly over the last five days, have given their all, they are without sleep and often without food,” Mitsotakis said.
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