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Forbes
Forbes
22 Jul 2023


Wildfires on the Greek island of Rhodes caused the evacuation of about 2,000 people on Saturday, according to Greek officials, as some experts suggest Greece could break its record for the country’s longest continuous heat wave set in 1987.

Greece

Recent wildfires have caused an estimated 7,500 people to be evacuated in Greece.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

George Hatzimarkos, the regional governor for Greece’s South Aegean region, said about 7,500 people—including tourists—have been relocated in the five days since wildfires started on the island, according to the New York Times.

Yannis Artopios, spokesperson for Greece’s fire department, said more than 200 firefighters, three planes and five helicopters were fighting flames on the island—located southwest of Turkey—while noting worsening temperatures could cause more fires to break out.

Other wildfires have broken out across the country in recent days, including fires near Athens and Sparta, according to the Associated Press.

Pictures of the Week-Global-Photo Gallery

A helicopter fights wildfires near Athens.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
TOPSHOT-GREECE-WEATHER-ENVIRONMENT-CLIMATE-WILDFIRE

Fires on the island of Rhodes.

Eurokinissi/AFP via Getty Images
Wildfire rages across Greece's Rhodes island

Tourists evacuate the island of Rhodes.

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Wildfire rages across Greece's Rhodes island

Firefighters combating blazes on the island of Rhodes.

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Greece Wildfires

Wildfires continue outside of Athens.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Kostas Lagouvardos, the director of research at the National Observatory of Athens, told CNN it is likely the ongoing heat wave will be the longest Greece has ever experienced. Greece’s longest continuous heat wave—defined as days with above-average temperatures—was 12 days long in 1987, according to Lagouvardos, who said the country will “probably go through 15 to 16 days of a heat wave.”

The temperature in Athens is predicted to reach as high as 113 degrees on Sunday, which would break the city’s all-time record of 112.6 degrees set in 2007.

Workers at the Acropolis in Athens have started to strike in protest over being forced to work in extreme temperatures. The Panhellenic Union of Employees for the Guarding of Antiquities said workers will protest during the hottest four hours of each day. Greek government officials closed the Acropolis last week, as temperatures reached as high as 104 degrees.

Extreme temperatures across Greece follow an ongoing heat wave and severe weather across Europe in recent weeks. The European Space Agency warned last week that the record for the continent’s highest temperature ever recorded—119.84 degrees—could be broken “in the coming days.” More than 60,000 people died because of a heat wave last year, according to the agency, which warned this year could be deadlier.

Greece Heat Wave Likely To Become Longest Country Has Ever Recorded (CNN)

Europe’s Dangerous Heat Wave: Greece Closes Acropolis As Warnings Issued Across Italy, Spain And Germany (Forbes)

Acropolis Workers In Athens Go On Strike Over 113-Degree Days (Forbes)