The wildfires plaguing Greece have expanded, fanned by high winds on Friday. According to the Greek emergency services, 56 fires are raging across the country.
The worst is north of Athens, where thousands of people have fled their homes. A 38-year-old man was also killed when a falling power pole hit him.
Large parts of Athens suffered power outages as a result of the fires. Residents were also urged to stay indoors due to toxic smoke development.
North of the capital, the fire spread on both sides of the highway to northern Greece, closed. The fire was approaching Marathon, where, according to Civil Defense Minister Nikos Hardalias, the fire service is waging “a battle of the titans” to protect the city. “The conditions are hazardous,” said the minister.
On the island of Evia, a popular tourist destination not far from Athens, people were taken from the beaches on Friday morning. A forest fire had burned down a forest of pine trees, after which eight villages were evacuated.
In the Peloponnese, near ancient Olympia, 32 villages have been evacuated. According to Hardalias, 300 firefighters are trying to save the birthplace of the Olympic Games from the fire.
Greece receives help to put out fires from Israel, Cyprus, France and Sweden. Forest fires also raged in neighbouring Turkey and North Macedonia on Friday.