Sofia Chegodaeva. Sputnik International
Greece and Turkey have been suffering from an unprecedented heatwave for more than a week, with people in some regions forced to evacuate by boat as the flames fed by strong winds approached their homes.
Wildfires have reached Olympia, the ancient Greek birthplace of the Olympic Games, a world-famous archaeological site where the Games were held every four years from 776 B.C. for over a millennium.
Photos and videos from the area, which is engulfed by a blaze, were shared online, showing firefighters battling the flames with assistance from helicopters and planes.
Besides the island of Evia, the fires are threatening ancient Olympia and even the northern suburbs of Athens itself. The scenes are tragically surreal. 😢 pic.twitter.com/BmTC6Rr0zs
— Adam Powell (@A_P0W3LL) August 5, 2021
The archaeological site of ancient Olympia and the museum that holds 2.500 years of history are in danger along with People and animals due to fires. The Olympics took place here thousands of years ago and the Hermes of Praxiteles sculpture is in this museum. 😢#ancientOlympia pic.twitter.com/UsM3vCN9s4
— Lina Greek (@Linagreek) August 4, 2021
Meanwhile, in neighbouring Turkey, the Kemerkoy Thermal Power Plant in Mugla province was engulfed by a wildfire.
According to the regional authorities, all explosive chemicals – hydrogen tanks and coal – have been removed from the strategic site.
The death toll from the wildfires which have ravaged almost the entire perimeter of Turkey’s Aegean and Mediterranean coasts currently stands at eight. Some districts were declared ‘disaster areas’ by the authorities, promoting locals and tourists alike to flee.
In Greece, over 100 houses were destroyed by forest fires on the island of Evia. Luckily, no deaths or severe injuries have been reported in the country.
Meteorologists say the heatwave will last until the end of the week.