Source: Depositphotos

Corfu authorities suspect foul play in start of fires

Corfu authorities suspect foul play in start of fires

The spread of the fires on the Greek island, however, has been described as “under control” for now

Local authorities on Corfu are now suspecting that the reason behind the fires, which afflicted the northern part of the Greek island, can be attributed to arson. The resulting blaze caused the evacuation of some 2,500 tourists and residents from hotels and villages located in the area.

Speaking to the BBC, deputy mayor of Northern Corfu, Theofanis Skembris said that there were four fires in total, but he now believes “everything will be over soon”. He was suspicious, however, about the cause of the blazes, describing the fact that four different fires began in separate areas as highly unusual.

Last night, many people fearing the spread of fires and their safety fled to the beaches where a fleet of private boats helped ferry them to safer places in other parts of the Ionian Sea island.

Officials are said to have been warned on Friday by the fire department chief that someone who started two fires last week would start yet another. The warning turned out to be true, but as of yet no arsonist or a group of arsonists have been identified.

People in Santa, Megoula, Porta, Palia Perithia and Sinies were told to evacuate to Kasiopi, while those in Rou, Katavolo, Kentroma, Tritsi, Kokokila, Sarakiniatika, Plagia, Kalami, Vlachatika and Kavalerena have been told to move to Ipsos.

Rhodes fires are still hard to contain though

In the Aegean Sea, the island of Rhodes has been suffering from brush fires for a week now. These have mostly afflicted the central and eastern portions of the island causing an evacuation of 19,000 people – a mix of local residents and tourists. This has been described as the largest evacuation in Greek history.

Some were repatriated by boats as well, while others have reported having to walk for many kilometres and hours under the scorching heat (Greece is heavily impacted by an ongoing heatwave that keeps day temperatures above 40 degrees).

Tourists have been sheltered in sports halls in Rhodes Town, and they have also been crowding the airport while waiting for a flight out. Those wishing to leave the island have been advised to consult their airline or tour operator for more information and details on departure flights, compensations and insurance policies.



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