Event Report

Event Description

Forest / Wild Fire in Greece on Saturday, 18 August, 2012 at 16:51 (04:51 PM) UTC.

A forest fire is raging on the island of Chios in the Greek archipelago and villagers and tourists are fleeing to the beach to escape the flames. Over 200 fire-fighters, soldiers and volunteers are involved in the operation and have been joined by eight aircrafts and two helicopters. At least three villages and tourist resorts have been evacuated and residents can only watch from the beach as fire consume the island. Rescue forces report that strong winds are making it difficult to control the fire which is thought to have broken out in the early hours of Friday morning. It is threatening ten villages on Chios and has moved very close to the Greek army base “PAP” near the Vessas village. Local media reports that the smoke can be seen from the island of Crete, over 60 miles south of Chios. The island is the fifth largest in the Greek archipelago and is a popular tourist destination with many tourists drawn to its scenery and medieval villages, which are now at risk. It is not clear if the 11th century monastery of 'Nea Moni', which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, will be saved from the flames but local media reports that the fire is likely to have caused substantial damage to the islands tourism industry.

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