Arsonists behind Corfu’s devastating wildfires as Greece ‘at war’

Arsonists are being blamed for devastating wildfires which have swept by means of the Greek island of Corfu.

Corfu mayor Yorgos Mahimaris mentioned yesterday that an arsonist seemingly began the fires which sparked mass evacuations on Sunday as firefighters battled to regulate them.

Mr Mahimaris got here to the conclusion after visiting three places the place fires broke out on Mount Pantokratoras.

Theofanis Skembris, deputy mayor of North Corfu, backed this view and mentioned that 4 fires have been “began concurrently”.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: “We have to attend for the investigation, however their first unofficial assumption is that it was arson – fires cannot begin concurrently in 4 completely different locations.

“The situation on the island is better now. Most of the fires are under control. There are firefighting airplanes helping. I believe that everything will be over soon.”

Chariton Koutscouris, Corfu’s deputy mayor for tourism and building, additionally blamed the fires on individuals who get “pleasure out of this with the ache of the opposite individuals”.

He said officials had a “suspicion” they would be started over the weekend, after they were warned on Friday by a fire service chief.

A Greek Fire Service spokesperson said that 12 residential areas were evacuated in Corfu with tourists being taken to the village of Kassiopi.

Some later fled the island on boats, according to reports.

The fires were among 82 wildfires across the country that firefighters battled last night – leading to the Mediterranean country’s largest-ever mass evacuation.

A total of 64 of the fires started on Sunday, the hottest day of the summer so far as temperatures peaked at 46.4C in the southern Greek town, Gytheio.

The most serious was on the island of Rhodes, where some 19,000 people had been evacuated from several locations as wildfires burned for a sixth day, Greek authorities said.

Greece has seen record temperatures in recent days

(BBC Weather)

Speaking before parliament yesterday, prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis described the fight against the fire on Rhodes as “warfare.”

“We will rebuild what we misplaced, and canopy the damages. Protecting human lives ought to be our precedence,” he said.

He also said climate change “will make its presence ever extra felt with better pure disasters all through the Mediterranean area”.

He spoke as 1000’s of vacationers are anticipated to fly residence at the moment after the fires noticed their holidays ruined or lower brief.

And except for the environmental harm, the closely tourist-dependent economies of the Greek islands are additionally set to take successful.

Tourism accounts for 18 per cent of Greece’s output and one in 5 jobs. On Rhodes and lots of different Greek islands this reliance on the business is even better.

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