Fires in Greece: Charred pines, destroyed houses, a landscape of desolation 30 kilometers north of Athens.
Varypompi was considered the lung of the Greek capital,” a paradise ” turned into a hell in one night. The fire took place on Tuesday afternoon in a pine forest at the foot of Mount Parnes. On Wednesday, the fire was about to be contained. But the damage is immense.
“The people of Varympompi take stock of what they have lost. Dozens of houses, cars and shops burned or were badly damaged. It is estimated that about 12,000 hectares have been affected. Scientists and authorities are urging people living near forest areas throughout the country to get rid of grass and tree branches around their homes, as persistently high temperatures raise fears of new fires“, says our correspondent on site, Fay Doulgkeri.
The fire did not cause any casualties, but more than 400 people had to be evacuated in this area. Some tried to save their homes to the end.
“With garden hoses, we tried to keep the roof wet and all the outdoor areas, but the police arrived and made us leave, everything happened very quickly, at the last minute I detached our dog, and I can not find him anymore“, testifies a resident.
In the aftermath of the disaster, many discover the extent of the destruction. “We need to rebuild everything, the electricity, the plumbing, everything has melted and for the rest, the tables, the beds, of course, there is nothing left,” says this other disaster.
A drama with multiple causes
“Of course the temperatures were high and there was almost no humidity“, explains Efthimios Lekkas, specialist in natural disaster management, “but there is also urbanization in areas of forests and the lack of preventive measures on the part of owners“.
Greece requested assistance from the European civil protection mechanism. Cyprus, France, the Netherlands, or Slovenia had to send reinforcements in men and equipment. About forty fires remain active in the country, or the thermometer always exceeds 40 degrees.