Greek filotimo praised amid fire emergency on Rhodes

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As many as 40,000 tourists have been evacuated or urgently fled Rhodes on the weekend in one of Greece’s largest-ever wildfire evacuations.

According to Adelaide Now, among the thousands of people who were evacuated from Rhodes in the Southeast Aegean, are displaced tourists who have struggled to get home on evacuation flights.

Some took to social media to describe being abandoned by travel companies, whilst praising local Greeks for their filotimo.

Amy, a lady on holiday in Rhodes from the United Kingdom with her partner and 11-year-old daughter, detailed how they fled a local hotel as fire blazed “behind us.”

According to NY Post, while running from the blaze, a Greek man gave them a lift in the back of his truck to a beach where rescue boats transported them and other stranded tourists to a nearby school for shelter.

“He saved our lives,” Amy said.

“People were screaming hanging off the sides, children were screaming and we didn’t know if we’d get on in time.

“The gratitude I have in my heart for that man who saved us, I will never put into words.”

Rescue boats transport stranded tourists to a nearby school for shelter.

Tourist Laura Bentley, her Australian husband, and five-year-old daughter also sought refuge, finding a hotel in the heat as they fled Princess Andriana Resort, near Kiotari.

In an interview with Adelaide Now, Mrs Bentley describes running on foot in 40 degree Celsius heat, leaving everything behind.

Amid the ‘war zone,’ Greek locals provided Australians and tourists from around the world with food and shelter while helping them to safety.

Matthew Ward from Leeds took to Twitter to express his gratitude to local volunteers for their “unbelievable hospitality” and “kindness.”

“Evacuated from Lindos last night,” Mr Ward wrote.

“Slept at a school staffed by local volunteers who brought us food, water, mattresses, then helped to find us a room and gave us a lift into Rhodes town. Unbelievable hospitality and kindness.”

The local Australian Ambassador to Greece has also issued advice to Australians in need of consular assistance in Greece affected by wildfires, urging them to call +61 2 6261 3305 and follow the advice of local authorities.

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