It is absolutely unbelievable.
Wildfires are raging all across Attiki and are threatening to reach Athens. People are being evacuated. Houses are burning. The children’s hospital in Pendeli has been evacuated and is surrounded by flames. I have close friends in three of the critical areas. We have been on the phone back and forth. They are all OK.
UPDATE: The fires reached the house of a friend of mine. They managed to stop it reaching theirs but the next door house is gone. They will evacuate if it gets worse again but at the moment they are having to stay around to save their home themselves. They are all OK for now.
UPDATE 2: Another friend is waiting to hear if she and her family will be told to evacuate…
UPDATE 3: The friend mentioned above has now evacuated.
UPDATE 4: I just spoke to my friend (update 1). He told me that most of the surrounding houses in the village are gone. His and four others are the only ones that survived unscathed. It’s heartbreaking. The other families in the area have lost everything. it’s not just their homes, it’s their possessions. The small but priceless things that they have collected over a lifetime. Their memories. I can’t imagine how it must feel to have lost all your family photographs. Pictures of your childhood, your family, your friends, events that have shaped your life… it’s simply heartbreaking.
I will update you as I hear more…
Follow updates on Twitter using #grfires
It’s just criminal what is happening.There are not enough fire engines, firefighters, planes, helicopters… not enough of anything. What happened to the promises made two years ago ? Where are the firebreaks ? Where are the new planes? Why has it taken the government two days to declare a state of emergency so that Greece can get help from other countries ? We have about three hours of flying time left (firefighting planes can’t function in the dark) and then the residents of these areas are on the own with the few professionals they are “lucky” enough to have nearby.
It’s tragic and unbelievable.
I am sitting here shaking with rage at the lack of foresight the authorities have shown and at the downright lies that people were told after the huge wildfires in 2007.
And you know what’s even more disgusting ? No matter how this all turns out. No matter how many injuries and even deaths. No matter how many homes and businesses are burned.
Absolutely NOTHING will be done to prevent this happening again.