The Greek government has given an update as the wildfires gripping Rhodes is now on its sixth day as evacuations are taking place.
On the Greek Island of Rhodes the air is filled with deadly smoke as the intense fires are burning and firefighters are battling the blaze and helicopters and they are struggling to control the fires due to the extreme temperatures.
Holidaymakers are being evacuated the Greek government has confirmed and the coastguard and dozens of private boats have evacuated at least 2,000 people from the south eastern part of the island.
The Greek government has confirmed as of 10am UK time on Sunday that 19,000 people have been evacuated or redirected due to the wildfires.
3,000 of those were evacuated by sea and 16,000 by land out of the 19,000 the government confirmed.
Fire on Rhodes: Hotels on fire, evacuation of tourists only by boats
▪️The port authority of the Greek island of Rhodes continues to evacuate residents and tourists by sea from the beaches in Lardos and Kiotari, the eastern side of the island has been cut off by a large forest… pic.twitter.com/TJ3vTnJgn1
— Spriter Team (@SpriterTeam) July 23, 2023
A spokesperson told Sky News, “It has been the largest evacuation ever [in Greece] in a fire with coordinated mobilisation of all resources.”
The Greek government said, “The operations are taking place now at Kyotari and southwest to Gennadi.
“On evacuations, locals and visitors have been redirected at hotels, conference centres, schools and other public spaces and are being catered for (food, water, medical observation).
“In coordination with the MFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) today a hotspot at Rhodes airport will be set up so that visitors who have lost their travel documents during evacuation can travel back home.”
Officials are warning the situation could get worse on Sunday as the mercury is set to hit highs of 45C which could cause more wildfires on the island, and meteorologists have said the current temperatures could last until the end of this month.
The British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has advised people to monitor updates provided from the Foreign Office.
The forest fire that has been raging for 5 days on the Greek island of Rhodes is completely out of control as of today with the effect of strong winds. Unfortunately, the fire has reached houses and hotels and people have started to leave the island by sea. #Rhodos #Greece… pic.twitter.com/LBOL8ILAOD
— Tansu YEĞEN (@TansuYegen) July 23, 2023
Writing on Twitter Cleverly said, “The safety of British Nationals is our top priority.
“I encourage those in Rhodes, and those with family and friends there, to continue checking FCDO travel advice for updates.”
TUI has announced that all flights Rhodes are now cancelled for several days as the situation is “volatile.”
In a statement TUI said, “The situation in the Southern part of Rhodes remains volatile and challenging.
“Due to this and considering the impact on local communities being affected, TUI has decided to cancel all flights and booked holidays to Rhodes for departures up to and incl. Tue, 25 July.”
👉 The situation is getting out of control. pic.twitter.com/C84S79QnxX
— SOS-UK-Report (@sosReports) July 23, 2023
Jet2 has cancelled all flights to Rhodes on Sunday, however they announced the planned flights out to the island will continue with no passengers on board to bring their customers back to safety.
Jet2 said in a statement, “We have cancelled all flights and holidays that are due to depart to Rhodes today (five flights in total).
“We will be contacting affected customers to update them, and to let them know that they will be provided with a full refund and the opportunity to rebook.
5G. HAARP. DEWS. Fires. Cabal intel:#GREECE #BREAKING Thousands evacuated as wildfires spread on #Greek island of #Rhodes. The fires, previously contained in the mountainous interior, surged towards the central-eastern coast due to strong winds and high… pic.twitter.com/KX3IRucDC4
— WayneTech SPFX®️ (@WayneTechSPFX) July 23, 2023
“We will fly those five aircraft to Rhodes with no customers onboard, so that we can bring customers back to the UK on their scheduled flight.”
British Airways have expressed they are “very concerned,” and said in a statement, “Customers currently in Rhodes who need to come home early can change their return flight free of charge, and anyone due to travel out from the UK in the next week can change their flight to a later date.”
easyJet said, “we continue to closely monitor the situation and the advice provided by the relevant authorities.”