Greek Prime Minister Interrupts Vacation, Returns To Athens To Address Wildfires - Reports

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Greek Prime Minister Interrupts Vacation, Returns to Athens to Address Wildfires - Reports

ATHENS (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 13th August, 2019) Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis interrupted his vacation and returned to Greece to visit the fire department's operations center amid massive wildfires that have broken out in the country, the government's press service stated on Tuesday.

On Saturday, the prime minister traveled to the city of Chania in Crete for a short vacation, where he had planned to stay until August 15, Mitsotakis' spokesperson said.

The Greek authorities declared a "red" wildfire alert on August 10 over the 40 degree Celsius (104 degree Fahrenheit) heat and strong winds. Despite all measures of prevention, 59 wildfires broke out on Saturday, with 63 more recorded on Sunday.

On Tuesday, a strong fire began on the island of Euboea. The smoke covered Athens, which is located about 70 kilometers (43 miles) south. Residents of three villages were evacuated. Fire also engulfed the pine forest included in the Natura 200 reserve, the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world.

The fires continue to spread despite a constant increase in the firefighting force. So far, 230 firefighters, 75 vehicles, 6 aircraft and 5 helicopters have been sent to the site.

A state of emergency was declared in the fire-affected areas on Monday evening.

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