Massive fire rips through Rhodes, leaves much of the island without power and water

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A massive fire broke out on the Greek island of Rhodes on Sunday, leaving large parts of the island without power and water.

The fire threatens the famed Valley of the Butterflies, the military base of Kalamona, and the village of Psinthos, all of which have been evacuated.

Firefighters on the scene warned residents of nearby villages and settlements to evacuate as well, as the fire is quickly gaining ground and could spread very easily.

Fire on Rhodes island. Photo: dimokratiki.

“The situation is very difficult and does not allow much optimism that the fire can be brought under control soon, due to the intensity of the winds that do not help the extinguishing work,” officers at the scene told local newspaper, dimokratiki.

More than 30 firefighters with 12 fire trucks, three fire corps on foot, volunteers, four aircraft and three helicopters, as well as the water dropping Russian Beriev-200, are currently operating at the fire front. Additional fire fighters are expected from Samos and Athens.

So far there are no reports of injuries or people in hospital due to respiratory problems.

Fire rips through Rhodes. Photo: Keep Talking Greek.

Dozen homes burn, five people hospitalised in Achaia wildfire:

Meanwhile, the big forest fire in Ziria, Achaia, that broke out on Saturday is largely under control. 

The fire left behind about a dozen homes burned and five people were hospitalised with breathing problems.

The authorities evacuated people from four villages in the region as well as from the tourist resort of Loggos on the coast.

READ MORE: Wildfires wreck havoc across Greek villages.

Firefighters operate during a wildfire near Lampiri village, west of Patras, Greece, Saturday, Jul. 31, 2021. Photo: AP Photo/Andreas Alexopoulos.

Greece is hit by forest fires every summer, but experts have warned that global warming increases their frequency and intensity.

Greece has been in the grip of another heatwave since Friday, with temperatures hovering between 42 and 44 degrees Celsius (111 Fahrenheit), weather forecasters say.

A total of 56 wildfires have broken out in the past 24 hours in Greece, aided by a combination of dry weather, a heatwave and strong winds. Most were put out at an early stage, Citizen Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis said.

READ MORE: Peloponnese villages ordered to evacuate as fires burn on the outskirts of Patras.

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