CBE receives 24 bids worth $1.15bn for T-bills tender denominated in US currency    Death toll in Indonesia's Semeru volcano eruption rises to 34, over 100 injured    Startups Without Borders to hold hybrid summit in Rome, Cairo    NTRA raises efficiency of mobile services in Sinai with EGP 513m investment    Economic recovery is essential in countering COVID-19 impact on Africa: Shoukry    Egypt advances to 21st in Climate Change Performance Index 2022    UNFPA, Canada delegation visits projects in Upper Egypt    Egypt, WHO discuss mechanisms to reduce antimicrobial resistance    Plastic Bank collects 150 million bottles in 2021, equivalent to 2,700 tonnes of plastic    US awards film residency programmes to Egyptian filmmakers at CIFF 2021    Irrigation Ministry highlights threats to Egypt's water security before Senate    DP World Sokhna: Integrated supply chain for Egyptian sugar    Egypt's PMI unchanged in Nov as higher inflation expectations weigh on: IHS    Egypt's LNG exports at full capacity of 1.6 bcf/d after gas price rise – minister    Indian Embassy in Cairo presents contemporary dance performances    Egypt explores water cooperation with 4 African countries    Al-Sisi visits Police Academy, witnesses admission exams    Soma Bay hosts Oceanman's Final World Championship 2021 for open-water swimming    Lebanese legend Fairuz is Egypt's most-streamed female singer on Spotify in 2021    Egypt, Qatar discuss cooperation in sports infrastructure    Mortada Mansour sets road map for Zamalek, after normalization committee depart    Egypt's trade with Nile basin countries climbs 26% y-o-y in 9 months    Egypt selected to host COP27 international climate conference in 2022    Number of British tourists to Egypt seen hitting 500,000 this winter – envoy    The unvaccinated prohibited from entry to Egypt state institutions starting December 1    Egypt, Greece ink deal for first subsea power link between Europe and Africa    SCOHRE sparks discussion on harm reduction, tobacco control    Egypt to receive first of six high-trains from Spain's Talgo in mid-November    Egypt's iron and steel exports jump 197% in 8 months    Ethiopia halts work at its embassy in Egypt for 'economic reasons'    It's a bit frustrating to draw at home: Real Madrid keeper after Villarreal game    Russia says it's in sync with US, China, Pakistan on Taliban    Shoukry reviews with Guterres Egypt's efforts to achieve SDGs, promote human rights    Sudan says countries must cooperate on vaccines    Johnson & Johnson: Second shot boosts antibodies and protection against COVID-19    Egypt to tax bloggers, YouTubers    Egypt's FM asserts importance of stability in Libya, holding elections as scheduled    Brazil calls up 8 EPL players for World Cup qualifying    We mustn't lose touch: Muller after Bayern win in Bundesliga    Egypt records 36 new deaths from Covid-19, highest since mid June    Egypt sells $3 bln US-dollar dominated eurobonds    Sisi calls on House, Senate to commence second legislative sessions on 3, 5 October    Gamal Hanafy's ceramic exhibition at Gezira Arts Centre is a must go    Italian Institute Director Davide Scalmani presents activities of the Cairo Institute for ITALIANA.IT platform    Qa'a play showing at Lycee El Horreya Theatre, Alexandria is a must go    APO Group enters new exclusive agreement with Getty Images on African press releases and images    On International Museum Day, Egypt opens two new museums at Cairo Airport    Old Cairo's Al-Fustat will be revamped on Egyptian President's directives    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



Greek wildfires a major ecological catastrophe, PM says
Published in Ahram Online on 12 - 08 - 2021

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Thursday that the devastating wildfires that burned across the country for more than a week were the greatest ecological catastrophe Greece had seen in decades.
The fires broke out as the country roasted during the most intense and protracted heat wave experienced in around 30 years. Hundreds of wildfires broke out across the country, stretching Greece's firefighting capabilities to the limit and leading the government to appeal for help from abroad. Hundreds of firefighters, along with planes, helicopters and vehicles, arrived from 24 European and Middle Eastern countries to assist.
``We managed to save lives, but we lost forests and property,'' Mitsotakis said, describing the wildfires as ``the greatest ecological catastrophe of the last few decades.''
Mitsotakis, speaking during a news conference in Athens, his first since the fires broke out, said authorities had faced around 100 active blazes each day. By Thursday, the situation was much improved, with most large wildfires on the wane.
But the prime minister warned the danger of more blazes was still present.
``We are in the middle of August and it's clear we will have difficult days ahead of us'' until the main season during which fires break out is over.
``The climate crisis _ I'd like to use this term, and not climate change _ the climate crisis is here,'' he said, adding he was ready to make the ``bold changes'' needed to tackle the changing climate.
``This is a common crisis for all of us,'' he said, noting that climate change is a global issue.
The largest fire broke out on Greece's second-largest island of Evia on Aug. 3 and was still smoldering on Thursday, after having destroyed most of the island's north.
More than 50,900 hectares were damaged in northern Evia, according to mapping from the European Union's Copernicus Emergency Management Service. Entire mountains of mainly pine forest have been reduced to bare, blackened stumps, while olive and fig tree plantations and vineyards were also destroyed.
The government prioritized protecting lives in its fire response, issuing dozens of evacuation orders for villages in the path of the flames. In that respect, the policy appears to have worked. One volunteer firefighter died while working in an area north of Athens hit by a major fire, after suffering a head injury from a falling electricity pole. Four volunteer firefighters have been hospitalized with burns, including two in critical condition in intensive care.
Greek authorities had been anxious to avoid a repetition of what had happened in the summer of 2018, when a fast-moving wildfire engulfed a seaside settlement near Athens, leaving more than 100 people dead, including some who drowned trying to escape the flames and smoke by sea.
But the current tactic of issuing evacuation orders has come under criticism by many residents and local officials in the areas affected by this year's fires, who have argued the orders were premature. They point to those who ignored the evacuation messages, staying behind to fight the flames and managing to save their homes.
The government has also come under criticism for not deploying enough firefighting planes and helicopters, and not sending them soon enough, particularly to Evia. Authorities have countered that the aircraft were flying wherever was possible, but that it is impossible to keep the entire firefighting fleet in the air at the same time, as some need to land for essential servicing.
Asked about the cause of the fires, and whether an organized campaign of arson was suspected, Mitsotakis said it was ``certain that some of the fires in the last few days were the result of arson.`` Several people have been arrested over the past few days on suspicion of attempting to start fires, including some who are accused of doing so deliberately.
However, he added it was unclear whether this was a result of an organized plan, and noted that the hot, dry conditions had aided the spread of wildfires.


Clic here to read the story from its source.