Monday, August 24, 2009

GREECE: "Everything around me is burning."

The nine helicopters and 14 planes that operated during the day, including two planes sent from Italy, dumped some 4,000 tons of water on the fire, but apparently without much success. Television showed airplanes and helicopters dropping water on a forest outside Agios Stefanos — and the fire re-igniting moments after they left.
Elsewhere in Greece, serious fires were reported on the islands of Evia and Skyros in the Aegean Sea and Zakynthos in the west. Another large fire that started Saturday in the town of Plataea, 40 miles (63 kilometers) northwest of Athens, was spreading unchecked in western Attica.

SHOOT: Sounds quite serious.
clipped from
A resident sits on top of a water wagon during a fire at the Mount of Penteli,

Tens of thousands of residents of Athens' northern suburbs evacuated their homes, fleeing in cars or on foot. Several houses were destroyed as the fire advanced across an area more than 31 miles (50 kilometers) wide.

More than 90 wildfires have ignited since Saturday across Greece, and six major fires were burning late Sunday. The Athens fire began on Mt. Penteli, which divides Athens from the Marathon plain, and has spread down both sides of the mountain.

Driven by gale-force winds, the blaze grew fastest near Marathon, from which the modern long-distance foot race takes its name.

"If they do not come right now, the fire will be uncontrollable. Please, bring two or three fire engines at least ... for God's sake," Vassilis Tzilalis, a resident of the seaside resort of Nea Makri, near Marathon, told TV channel Mega.

"There are only two fire engines here; three houses are already on fire and we are just watching helplessly," mayor Spyros Zagaris told Greek TV.

 blog it

No comments: