Greek wildfire rages near Athens; homes, hospital evacuated

A new catastrophe hits Greece. During the 12 years of the European – IMF bail-out programs the state mechanism, including the fire fighting apparatus has been let to deplete. The situation of the Greek state apparatus after the 2015 defeat is worse than at any other time in recent history. The corruption in the country is generalized and society lives in an unprecedented apathy and lack of any hope and self-confidence, after being betrayed. 

By Renee Maltezou and Vassilis Triandafyllou

ATHENS, July 19 (Reuters) – A Greek wildfire fuelled by gale-force winds raged in the mountainous region of Penteli near Athens on Tuesday, prompting authorities to order the evacuation of at least four areas and a hospital.

Heavy clouds of smoke were rising into the sky billowing over Mount Penteli where the fire broke out at 1430 GMT, some 27 km (16 miles) north of central Athens.

Images showed the Parthenon temple on the Acropolis hill covered in red light due to the fire burning in the background. By nightfall, the flames were visible from the island of Evia, about 50 km away, according to witnesses.

Local media reported the fire had burned at least one house but the fire brigade would not confirm the information. There were no reports of injuries, the fire brigade said.

About 420 firefighters assisted by 85 engines were trying to tame the blaze, which was burning on several fronts by late afternoon. More than 24 helicopters and planes earlier dumped water on the flames but had to halt operations at night for safety reasons.

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