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Death toll rises to 21 as wildfires continue burning across Greece

fire near alexandroupolis greece august 25 2023 sentinel-2.opti

The wildfire crisis deepens in Greece with significant outbreaks across several regions including Alexandroupolis, Dadia, Rodopi Municipalities in East Macedonia, Parintha in the Attica Region, and Viotia in Central Greece.

The ongoing wildfires have severely affected multiple regions in Greece. Areas such as Alexandroupolis, Dadia, Rodopi Municipalities in East Macedonia, Parintha in Attica, and Viotia in Central Greece are among the hardest hit.

The Greek Civil Protection, on August 26, reported a new fire in Andros island, leading to urgent evacuations.

Tragically, the death toll rose to 21 as another body was discovered by the fire service on August 24 near Lefkimi, situated between Alexandroupolis and Dadia.

Local authorities reported some of the fires seem to have been set deliberately and the police have made 79 arson-related arrests so far.

fire near alexandroupolis greece august 25 2023 sentinel-2 big.opti
Image credit: Copernicus EU/Sentinel-2. Processed by Pierre Markuse. Acquired on August 25, 2023
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The Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) has seen contributions from 10 of its member and participating states towards ground operations in the affected regions. Responding to Greece’s call for aid on August 26 and 27, which included requests for aerial and ground forest firefighting modules, France stepped up on August 27 by offering a module consisting of two Canadair firefighting planes from the rescEU capacity. The European Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) further deployed two liaison officers to aid Greece in coordinating the EU’s assistance efforts.

The Copernicus Emergency Management Service has been on high alert, with five activations resulting in the production of 20 detailed maps (categorized as EMSR686 to EMSR690) to assist in understanding the wildfire spread and affected areas.

The European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) predicts that the overall fire danger risk in Greece will be on a downtrend over the next 48 hours. However, despite the overall decrease, some areas are expected to face high to extreme fire danger levels, indicating the need for continued vigilance.

References:

1 Wildfires in Greece – DG ECHO – August 27, 2023

Featured image credit: Copernicus EU/Sentinel-2. Processed by Pierre Markuse

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