The sky is red. Residents evacuated from the outskirts of Athens for fear of fires

Greek authorities evacuated hundreds of people on Wednesday, while firefighters and helicopters were deployed to fight a forest fire that devastated a mountainous suburb north of Athens for the second day.

About 500 firefighters, 120 vehicles, three planes and four helicopters rushed at dawn to prevent the flames from spreading to the outskirts of Benteli, Balini, Anthosa and Yarakas, inhabited by about 29 thousand people. There have been no immediate reports of injuries, but at least 10 homes are believed to have suffered damage of varying degrees, according to state television ERT. “The sky was red … We left without taking anything with us”, said one of Bentelli’s sons, adding that his car and the outside shack of his house were in flames. The neighboring house was completely destroyed by the fire. He explained: “Civil protection was in delay in alerting us. The fire was behind us. We left at the crucial moment. If we had stayed another 30 seconds, he would have killed us. “

THE media Greeks reported that an 80-year-old man in Anthosa committed suicide in desperate because of the fire that broke out on Tuesday afternoon. Greece has so far avoided the sweltering temperatures that caused forest fires that claimed casualties in France, Portugal and Spain and destroyed large areas of land. But this week it was hit by strong winds.

Strong night winds fueled the forest fires that raged at the foot of Mount Benteli, north of Athens. “Currently there are two fronts … the winds are so strong that the planes are not in able to drop the water and hit their targets, “civil protection officer Vassilis Kokalis told Athens radio 98.4. He added that the fire was threatening shops and businesses on a major highway in Athens.” It is a fire that will cause concern for several days, lest it reignite, “Kocalis said.

The parents were evacuated in several areas and a children’s hospital and the National Observatory of Athens, as a precaution. Police said around 600 people were taken in safe places at night. Traffic has been suspended on parts of the ring road surrounding Athens, the operator said on Twitter.

Greece has set up a crisis cell and fire teams have fought 117 forest fires in the country in the past 24 hours. And 87 firefighters are fighting a fire in the Peloponnese peninsula (south). Greece asked European countries to send firefighters. Last year, a heat wave and fires destroyed 103,000 hectares of land, killing three people.