As wildfires rage in Greece, tourists flee and locals shelter

as-wildfires-rage-in-greece,-tourists-flee-and-locals-shelter
As wildfires rage in Greece, tourists flee and locals shelter

More than 2,000 holidaymakers were flown home on Monday as wildfires continued to rage on the Greek island of Rhodes for the seventh consecutive day. Repatriation flights will continue into Tuesday as the fires remain out of control. The threat of further blazes is high across Greece, which is currently experiencing a record-breaking heatwave. Tour operator TUI has cancelled trips to Rhodes through Friday and is offering free cancellations or rebookings to other destinations. The company had 39,000 customers on the island as of Sunday evening. TUI deployed six extra planes on Monday to fly tourists back to Britain and Germany. The Dutch foreign ministry issued a travel warning for Rhodes, as well as the islands of Corfu and Evia, where wildfires have also broken out. Over the weekend, 20,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes and hotels in Rhodes as the fires reached coastal resorts in the southeast. Additional evacuations took place on Monday, and firefighting efforts will continue until nightfall. Greek coastguard vessels have been patrolling the coastline and evacuating tourists by sea. The Greek government has called this the largest evacuation ever undertaken in the country. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis addressed parliament, stating that the country must remain on constant alert and that the climate crisis is already causing greater disasters in the Mediterranean. Many tourists who were forced to leave their hotels spent the night on the floor of Rhodes airport, waiting for repatriation flights. From Sunday until Monday afternoon, 2,115 tourists were flown home on 17 flights, mainly to Britain, Germany, and Italy. Returning German tourists at Cologne-Bonn Airport described their holidays turning into torment, with some having to walk long distances to safety. Local residents in Rhodes continue to face the threat of the wildfires, with smoke covering the empty beaches and residents fearing for their homes. The situation is expected to worsen in the coming days due to high winds. Tour operators TUI, easyJet, and Jet 2 have all laid on extra flights, and Air France has increased its capacity. Ryanair has not seen passengers seeking to cancel flights to Rhodes, as the fires are mainly in the south of the island, while the airport and most resorts are in the north. Climate change has led to more extreme heatwaves in southern Europe, raising concerns about the future of tourism in the region. Tourism accounts for 18% of Greece’s GDP and one in five jobs, making the impact of reduced tourism significant. Moody’s ratings agency warned that heatwaves may reduce southern Europe’s attractiveness as a tourist destination in the long term, potentially hurting the region’s economy.

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Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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