The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, conveyed this Tuesday night solidarity and concern to his Greek counterpart, due to the fires that ravage Greece, near the capital Athens.
The President of the Republic spoke this evening with the President of the Hellenic Republic, to convey Portugal’s solidarity and concern regarding the fires that ravage Greece and even close to the capital Athens”, can be read in a note published on the Presidency’s website.
According to the note, President Katerina Sakellaropoulou informed Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa about the difficult situation in the country and thanked him for his “friendly words”.
A forest fire that broke out today near Athens forced the evacuation of thousands of people from three suburbs of the Greek capital, with reports of destroyed houses, cut roads and disruptions to the electricity supply.
Greece is facing the biggest heat wave in the last 30 years, with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius, which is increasing the risk of fire.
According to reports from international agencies, the flames of this fire destroyed several houses and a camp, reaching the main square of Varympompi, one of the northern suburbs of Athens.
The Greek media reported that the flames are near an air base and a monastery.
So far, there is no information on victims, but the Greek media is reporting that the police are receiving several calls from people who cannot get out of buildings and from several agents and firefighters who were caught in the flames while providing assistance to the populations.
It’s a big fire and it will take a lot of work to control it.”, said, in statements to state television ERT, the governor of the metropolitan area of Athens, George Patoulis.
“The vegetation is very dense in these areas and it is very dry due to the heat wave, so the conditions are difficult”, stressed the representative, regarding this fire that is leaving the Greek capital covered by a huge cloud of smoke.
Due to this fire, the Greek authorities decided to cut off a part of the main highway that links the Greek capital to the north and south of the country, as well as several rail links connecting Athens with the north of the country were suspended.
The Greek electricity distribution company, ADMIE, warned, however, of the possibility of power cuts in the area, as some infrastructure was hit by the flames.
The fire broke out late in the morning in the Tatoi area, the area where the former Greek royal family’s summer residence was located.
As the flames approached residential areas, the Greek Civil Protection began sending alerts to populations via mobile phone to leave the area.
About 80 children who were in a camp had to be removed from the site.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited the fire brigade’s coordination center this afternoon to supervise and monitor combat operations.
About 350 firefighters are on the ground to fight this fire, supported by 70 vehicles and ten aerial means (five helicopters and five seaplanes), as well as by volunteers.
Other fires are affecting other areas of the country, such as the island of Euboea, where two villages and several summer camps have been evacuated, and the island of Kos, where a fire threatens a protected natural area and the sanctuary of Asklepieion, the most important archaeological site on the island.