Fires, Heatwaves, and No Relief in Sight

Firefighters in the Mediterranean region continue to battle intense wildfires. The situation remains particularly difficult in Rhodes and Corfu, where temperatures reach 46 degrees Celsius. However, temperatures in Algeria and Italy are gradually decreasing.

The situation in several countries around the Mediterranean remains tense, with extreme heat, wildfires, and firefighters on constant duty. In Greece, temperatures are expected to reach up to 46 degrees Celsius today. “It’s an explosive cocktail of heat, winds, and fires,” said a Greek meteorologist.

Only on Thursday, temperatures in Greece are expected to slightly cool to around 35 degrees Celsius. Italy also anticipates a general decrease in temperatures. In Rome, temperatures are expected to be around 30 degrees Celsius, while in Sicily, it could reach up to 35 degrees Celsius.

EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic, warned on Twitter that the fire risk in the Mediterranean region is likely to remain extremely high over the next two days.

Greece: Over 500 Major Fires

Firefighters in Greece have been battling multiple wildfires for thirteen consecutive days. The islands of Rhodes and Corfu continue to be heavily affected. Three villages on Corfu had to be evacuated due to heavy smoke and approaching flames.

The southeast of Rhodes remains the most affected area. According to state radio reports, at least 3,000 volunteers from all regions of the island have come to Gennadi and Lindos to assist. Authorities assure that tourists are not in danger. Many of the people who were evacuated on Saturday have already departed. In recent days, over 20,000 people have been evacuated from homes and holiday resorts on Rhodes alone.

Tour operator FTI announced the cancellation of all bookings to the wildfire-affected areas in the southeast of Rhodes until Sunday, July 30th. TUI has canceled all flights to the popular holiday island until Friday, with the same measure applying to travel to the south of Rhodes until Sunday. DER Touristik has canceled all trips to the south of the island until Saturday.

Three Deaths on Euboea Island

The fire departments are also fighting the flames on the islands of Euboea and Corfu. On Euboea, a firefighting plane crashed on Tuesday, resulting in the death of two Greek pilots, as stated by the government. The state broadcaster ERT showed footage of the plane crashing and exploding during firefighting operations. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis recently admitted that Greek firefighting planes were “old, difficult to fly, and vulnerable.” He promised new models by 2026.

On Euboea, the charred body of a man was found on Tuesday. Police spokespersons said that they are investigating whether the body belongs to a shepherd who went missing since Sunday.

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), over 35,000 hectares have been burned so far. The Greek Civil Protection Agency reported over 500 major fires that have ravaged the country in recent days.

Algeria: Gradual Temperature Decrease

In the North African country of Algeria, temperatures are gradually decreasing today, according to the national weather agency. Previously, temperatures in some wildfire-affected regions reached around 50 degrees Celsius. So far, 34 people have died in the fires, and approximately 1,500 villagers have been evacuated to safety.

The region of Beni Ksila, east of the capital Algiers, is particularly hard-hit in Algeria. According to local broadcaster Soummam Radio, 23 people have died there since Sunday, with 197 others injured. Among the victims were ten soldiers who perished while evacuating residents, according to the Algerian Ministry of Defense.

Wildfires Ravage Cyprus, Italy, and France: Urgent Battle Against Nature’s Fury

On the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, which has been enduring temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius and above since mid-July, over 100 firefighters managed to bring a forest fire under control this morning. The blaze had destroyed approximately 20 hectares of woodland in just one night.

In Sicily, the firefighting teams are also combating multiple wildfires. One of the fires came dangerously close to the Palermo airport, resulting in its closure for several hours on Monday. Media reports indicate that the charred bodies of two individuals, aged around 70, were found in a destroyed house on the island. The body of an 88-year-old woman was discovered near Palermo.

France also faced the wrath of wildfires. Firefighters and water-bombing planes fought relentlessly against a large-scale fire near Nice airport.