Rhodes Wildfires: Largest Ever Evacuation As 19,000 Rescued

Credits: Eurokinissi/AFP/Getty Images

More than 19,000 people have been evacuated from Rhodes after wildfires tore through the tourist island for the sixth day running, reports Yahoo News.

Largest evacuation from a wildfire

The Greek Ministry of Climate Change and Civil Protection said it was “the largest evacuation from a wildfire in the country” as a string of airlines cancelled flights to the island on Sunday.

Thousands of tourists and residents were forced to huddle in schools and shelters over the weekend as flames gutted resorts and coastal villages. It comes amid a prolonged heatwave across southern Europe, with temperatures in Greece expected to exceed 40C in the coming days.

The wildfires, which have burned for nearly a week, forced coastguard vessels and private boats to carry more than 3,000 tourists from beaches on Saturday. Around 16,000 people were evacuated by land, authorities said.

Jet2 Holidays cancelled all flights to the island until July 30 and said it would send empty planes to bring stranded Britons home, while Tui said it would cancel all flights and holidays until Tuesday. Ryanair said its flights to and from the island were unaffected by the fire.

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Source: Yahoo News