At least sixty people have been killed and many more injures as wildfires ripped through Attica, the region around Athens in Greece. Mati, a seaside tourist town, was devastated by the fire. Bodies were found in villas and on the beach as people headed to the sea for safety, and it is believed a number of tourists are among the dead. Search and rescue operations are ongoing.
#Greece There have been wildfires in a number of areas in southern Greece, including close to Athens. Most visits to Greece, incl. Athens, are unaffected. Keep up to date with media reports and follow local authorities’ advice in affected areas. More info: https://t.co/DXI2TP0N0G pic.twitter.com/ANV7hzuiaq
— FCO travel advice (@FCOtravel) July 24, 2018
If you have been affected by the forest fires near #Athens #Greece & require consular assistance call the Australian Embassy in Athens on +30 210 870 4000. For updates on affected areas, including road closures, call the Greek Tourist Police on 1571 #Πυρκαγια @AusAmbAthens
— Smartraveller (@Smartraveller) July 24, 2018
Anyone with concerns regarding fires near Athens can contact the Department at 01-4082000
— DFATravelWise (@dfatravelwise) July 24, 2018
#Greece Security Alert:Local & international media are reporting multiple major forest fires on either side of the Greek capital.Local authorities urge residents to evacuate.The Athens Corinth National Road & Athens International Airport is currently open. https://t.co/MVquC7L1oK pic.twitter.com/jq1dz0oqfe
— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) July 24, 2018
#Greece: forest fires are affecting multiple areas in the greater Athens region. There could be significant disruptions in essential services. Contact your airline or tour operator to determine if the situation will disrupt your travel plans. https://t.co/lHVAxVnYcb
— travel.gc.ca (@TravelGoC) July 24, 2018
The Weather Network reports that ‘Sweden, Norway, Germany, Holland, Poland, the British Isles and the Baltic Republics are living some of the most extreme conditions.’ The extreme and prolonged heat has been fueling the fires.
Other European countries facing fires
- Sweden – Sweden has been battling wildfires – for more coverage please click here.
- Latvia – Deutsche Welle reports that ‘Forest fires devastate western Latvia‘
- Italy – there have been outbreaks of fires in Italy, including several in Bailicata that look quite serious. There is limited English language reporting available.
- Sicily – there have been multiple fires in Sicily, though there is limited English language reporting available
- Ukraine – ‘extreme fire hazard is expected in Kirovohrad region and in most southern regions.’
The European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) map indicates that Germany, Poland, Romania, and Moldova are also experiencing fires, though media reporting on this has been hard to find.
If you are set to travel to an area affected by fire in the coming days, please talk to your travel agent.
The European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) and the NASA Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) produce maps that show where wildfires are occurring – click through on the links to view.
Before you travel
- Identify reliable information channels – local news, local embassy, etc – that you can follow on social media or look up online.
- Consider setting up push notifications on Twitter.
- Buy appropriate and comprehensive travel insurance as soon as possible. Make sure you know who to contact and what information you need to give them should anything go awry.
- Store the contact information for your local embassy on your phone and in a secure offline location.
While you are travelling
- Monitor local media.
- Prepare a small grab bag of belongings you will need in an emergency. Include travel documents, ID, medication, snacks, water, first aid kit and anything else that cannot be replaced.
- Discuss what you will do in an emergency with your group. It is helpful if people know what the risks are and what will be expected of them should something occur.
- Do not take your safety for granted – fires travel very quickly and can change direction with no warning.
- If you are told to evacuate, leave immediately.
- Follow evacuation routes – alternative routes may be blocked.
- Keep in touch with friends and family.
For more information and advice on preparing for and surviving wildfires, please visit ready.gov.
— DW – Business (@dw_business) July 24, 2018
— ABC News (@ABC) July 24, 2018
— The Times of London (@thetimes) July 24, 2018
‘The flames would catch a convoy of cars and everybody would get out and make a run for it to the sea.
Sometimes they’d made it, sometimes they wouldn’t.’
— Sky News (@SkyNews) July 24, 2018
— Bloomberg (@business) July 24, 2018
— Bloomberg (@business) July 24, 2018
|Like what you read? Sign up here for our free Daily Updates.
We also send out a Weekly K+R Update, bundling together all the kidnap, ransom and extortion news of the week in one easy to read newsletter. (Same form – options at the end.)
Other ways to stay up to date: