Is it safe to travel to Athens, Greece, where have the wildfires hit and is there a state of emergency?

ATHENS has been hit by forest fires which broke out in the Greek capital’s suburbs.

Here’s what you know before you pack your bags.

A woman tries to find her dog following a wildfire at the village of Mati, near Athens
A woman tries to find her dog following a wildfire at the village of Mati, near Athens
AFP or licensors

Is it safe to travel to Athens, Greece?

The two major forest fires broke out on Monday, July 24, before raging out of control, burning houses.

Residents in the affected areas fled and the sky over Athens was turned a hazy orange from the smoke.

As of the morning Tuesday July 24, Greece’s fire department said at least 49 people had died in forest fires that have swept through popular seaside holiday areas near the Greek capital.

There were fears the death toll would rise significantly.

Greece has sought international help which have destroyed dozens of homes, burned cars and prompted tourists and Greeks to flee to beaches east of Athens for dramatic rescues by boats.

A burnt house stands between pines after a forest fire in Kineta village
A burnt house stands between pines after a forest fire in Kineta village
AP:Associated Press

Where have the wildfires hit?

On either side of Athens.

Seaside areas have been affected.

The community of Mati has been badly hit.

Is there a state of emergency?

Yes.Regional Greek authorities declared a state of emergency in the eastern and western parts of greater Athens.

Greece is seeking assistance from the European Union to battle the fires.

The Spanish government says it has sent two amphibious planes to help fight the twin forest fires in seaside areas of Greece that have killed nearly 50 people and injured more than 100.

Greece sought international help through the European Union as fires on either side of Athens left lines of cars torched, charred farms and forests, and sent hundreds of people racing to beaches to be evacuated by navy vessels, yachts and fishing boats.

Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture says that each of the two Canadair-type planes dispatched early Tuesday can hoard 5.5 tons of water and they are piloted by members of the country’s air force.


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