Greece struck with huge wildfires as temperatures soar
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Experts have said this year fires are much bigger than usual despite fires being common in southern Turkey during the hot summer. The popular tourist hotspot Rhodes is urgently evacuating people as “out of control” wildfires rage across the Greek island. In Greece, 56 wildfires have erupted in the past 24 hours due to a combination of dry weather, a heatwave and strong winds.
Fires have been blazing for five days in some of Turkey’s Mediterranean resort towns.
There are 120 fires in Turkey alone and more expected.
Allyson, a resident of Marmaris, Turkey said: “Something is different because I’ve never seen this before.
“We had little fires before but I’ve never seen this devastation.
“And it is not just here – it is everywhere.”
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said that five planes, 45 helicopters, drones and over a thousand firefighters have been sent to battle the wildfires.
On Thursday an investigation was launched into the cause of the fires as there are concerns of attacks from Kurdish militants.
Climate change has also been blamed for most of the destruction as temperatures continue to rise.
Stavros Solomos, a researcher at the Centre for Atmospheric Physics and Climatology of the Academy of Athens said: “We are constantly recording maximum record temperatures all these years, which means that climate change is here.
Turkey: Wildfires billow smoke into the sky close to Marmaris
“We are expecting to have more frequent, more intense heatwaves.”
On Saturday another fire engulfed Patras, Greece’s third-largest city, taking 30 kilometres (19 miles) of mountain forest.
Four villages of Western Greece were evacuated by the Fire Service, the Coast Guard as well as private boats called in to help.
Today, temperatures are set to rise from 42C to 46C (107.6F to 114.8F).
The mercury is predicted to stay at 40C (104F) or above in Greece until at least Friday.
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11:00 Firefighters battle blaze through the night
Nearly 300 firefighters fought through the night to combat the fires early on August 1.
10:59 Latest death toll reaches 8 people
The death toll in the Turkey wildfires has risen to eight.
Coastal resorts have been severely impacted by the horrific blaze.
Firefighters are still battling for a fifth day to contain blazes still raging.
Two more people died on Sunday due to wildfires in the southern town of Manavgat, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said, adding that 10 others were receiving treatment in hospital in the area.
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