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A fire-ravaged island on the island of Euboea in Greece, which was hit by floods and landslides | Greece

Storms and heavy rains have revealed the magnitude of the destruction caused by Massive fire on the Greek island of EviaThe community is now forced to deal with floods and landslides.

An unprecedented wildfire broke out after a record-breaking summer GreeceAuthorities in the affected areas are currently on defense as the country suffered a second bout of stormy weather within a week.

Dr. Costas Lagbaldos, Head of Research at the National Astronomical Observatory of Athens, said: “But from Thursday we are expecting this [new] Meteorological systems create very dangerous situations, especially in burnt areas where the soil is already saturated and the streams are overflowing. “

In Greece, an estimated 300,000 acres of forest and shrublands were incinerated in the summer, with temperatures reaching record highs of 47.1 ° C on August 3.

According to the National Astronomical Observatory of Athens, more than one-third of the devastated area was in northern Euboea. In recent weeks, local communities have been competing for authorities to clean the riverbed and people to build sandbags around their homes and build flood barriers to replace lost forest coverings.

On August 3, a flame burns in the mountains near the village of Limni on Euboea. Photo: Michael Pappas / AP

But for many, the storm was already disastrous. Heavy rains damaged more than 200 homes over the weekend, widespread floods made roads impassable, and landslides that ran down the mountains lost vegetation to the sea.

“The situation is dramatic. A mountain of mud has been removed from the village,” said Mayor Giorgos Tsaporniotis of Mantoudi, comparing the scene to a biblical catastrophe. “We are calling hundreds to get water out of our house.”

By Thursday, when a storm reached Athens, tore masonry from the Greek Parliament, and in some cases evacuated children from school, the Meteorological Department issued a red warning warning people to avoid unnecessary movements. bottom. A forested area north of the capital was also destroyed by a wildfire in August.

“What we are witnessing is the loss of important ecosystem services provided by forests,” said Demetres Karavellas, head of WWF Greece, saying the Euboea wildfire is the largest record in Greek history. I did. “The natural ability of water-reserving soil to act as a flood control mechanism has been destroyed in vast areas.”

The Mediterranean has been selected as a hotspot for wildfires that cause forest fires from France to Turkey in the summer.

Firefighters pump water after a flood in the village of Agia Anna in northern Euboea.
Firefighters pump water after a flood in the village of Agia Anna in northern Euboea. Photo: Thodoris Nikolaou / AP

Scientists partially agree that the climate crisis has created conditions that make forests more vulnerable and easier to flood. Greek Prime Minister Kiriakos Mitsutakis said hundreds of fires broke out “in every corner of the country”, turning dry terrain into a tinderbox, which was hotter than 30 years.

Without support from more than 20 countries, firefighters and water drop planes, paramedics would not have been able to respond.

However, Caravelas says there is also “déjà vu” in which an ever-increasing number of violent fires are recorded due to inadequate forest management policies and lack of follow-up after the fire.

“The important issue here is Prevention.. In the first place, we need to stop the outbreak of such fires by moving from the suppression paradigm to the prevention paradigm, “he said. “If I wasn’t ready in the past, I can’t make an excuse now.”

A fire-ravaged island on the island of Euboea in Greece, which was hit by floods and landslides | Greece

Source link A fire-ravaged island on the island of Euboea in Greece, which was hit by floods and landslides | Greece

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