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Thousands evacuated from Greek island of Rhodes as wildfires spread

Rhodes: Thousands of tourists and local residents were stranded due to a forest fire on the Greek island of Rhodes. Despite the fact that no lives were lost, both villagers and tourists were forced to flee. In the country, fire is not a new phenomenon. However, the Rhodes fire appears to have gotten out of hand. The government has made it clear that the country has carried out the biggest rescue operations in its history.

Villagers and hundreds of tourists staying in resorts are housed in centres set up in schools, indoor stadiums, and other public spaces. Due to the fire, several tour operators, including Jet2 and TUI, cancelled flights from Rhodes, causing tourists to suffer. They had to be refugees all night. Many tourists lost their travel documents and other valuables during the escape, adding to the misery.

Thousands were literally left in the dark as power and other services were cut off for security reasons. Due to the shutdown of the plant in the southern region, a large portion of the island is without power.

The island of Rhodes is famous for its beaches and ancient remains. The forest fires destroyed the coastal villages of Kiotari, Gennadi, Pefki, Lindos, Lardos, and Kalathos in its southeastern region. Coastguard vessels and rescue workers rescued over 2,000 tourists from the beaches.

Rhodes Vice Mayor Thanasis Virinis said that more than 5,000 people have been relocated to various places. They have only been given necessities like mattresses and bed sheets. 19,000 villagers have been displaced. 3,000 people have been moved in boats.

Lindos, famous for the Acropolis on a giant rock believed to be from the Middle Ages, was the most affected. The hills, slopes, and buildings in this area were all engulfed in flames. Hundreds of firefighters are battling the blaze.

As the fire grew out of control, many people fled the hotels. Meanwhile, their travel documents and belongings were misplaced. To assist them, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs has set up a help desk at Rhodes Airport. Tour operator Jet2 said the tourists would be brought home safely.

As the temperature rises, civil protection has issued a warning that forest fires are possible in various parts of Greece. Following the heat wave in southern Europe and many parts of the world, the temperature has reached 45 degrees Celsius. The damage from the heat wave is expected to last until August.

According to the World Meteorological Organisation, heatwaves will become more common as a result of climate change. For the past 12 days, temperatures have exceeded 40 degrees Celsius. Meteorologists have warned that it will be the longest heatwave the country has ever seen.

The World Meteorological Organisation stated that Europe is the fastest-warming continent in the world. According to the report released in June, the temperature has been twice as warm as the global average since 1980.

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