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Wildfires Ravage Greek Islands: Three Fatalities Reported

On Tuesday, three people became the first known fatalities of wildfires raging on the Greek islands for a week. 

The wildfire on the Island of Rhodes raged seven days ago, with hundreds of firefighters battling blazes.

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Around 20,000 people were forced to leave homes and hotels in Rhodes over the weekend, and more than 2,500 people have been evacuated from Corfu and others sheltered in stadiums and temporary accommodation.

The Greek government said that authorities were conducting the country’s most extensive evacuation ever attempted.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis warned of tough days ahead as the blazes continue to destroy homes and force tourist evacuations.

“In the face of what the entire planet is facing, especially the Mediterranean, which is a climate change hot-spot, there is no magical defence mechanism”.

The wildfire also affected the tourists who tried to get home, with up to 10,000 British tourists on the island at the time.

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Lefteris Laoudikos’s family owns a small hotel in the Rhodes seaside resort village of Kiotari. 

He said about 200 guests, mainly from Germany, Britain and Poland, evacuated in rental cars.

“On Saturday, when I saw the wind and that there were no planes, I told everyone, we’re going to burn today,” he told Reuters.

Laoudikos and his father saved the hotel using a nearby water tank.

“My father saved the hotel. I called him, and he didn’t want to leave. He told me, “If I leave, there will be no hotel’”. 

By Tuesday, 3,000 holidaymakers had returned home by plane, and tour organisers cancelled upcoming trips.

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