Greece Fires: Shocking video shows luxury hotel in Lindos, Rhodes before & after devastating Greek wildfires
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A shocking video of a luxury hotel in Greece has emerged to show the damage before and after the devastating wildfires. The video, filmed by tourist Sarkawt Fairouzi, shows holidaymakers enjoying the sun by the pool and then the burnt remains of sun loungers and umbrellas after the blaze.
Sarkawt, 41, and his family were staying at the luxury five-star hotel Lindos Imperial on the island of Rhodes, Greece, when the fires broke out.
Sarkawt said: “Every morning we would wake up and ash would be falling from the sky. Everyone was there: children, families. The smell of burning wood was really strong.”
Sarkawt and his family, from Gothenburg in Sweden, were evacuated on 21 July to a nearby town when the wildfires surrounded the hotel. Two days later, when the situation was no longer dangerous, Sarkawt and his family returned to the hotel and were confronted with devastating scenes.
The pool area had been completely destroyed by the fire with only charred remains of sun loungers and umbrellas left behind. The family, who run an employment agency, was unable to get their belongings before evacuation although luckily they weren’t damaged by the fire.
Sarkawt added: “The hotel was destroyed. The whole pool area was gone. All the chairs and umbrellas. It was very sad.”
The Greek wildfires broke out across central Rhodes Island on July 18. Local authorities have been battling the blaze ever since, and British holidaymakers have been evacuated.
Greek Travel Advice
The UK government advises anyone due to travel to Greece to contact their travel or accomodation provider and make sure they have valid insurance.
How did the Greek wildfires start?
According to Imperial College London’s Professor of Fire Science, Guillermo Rein, a combination of heat, wind and people have caused the widespread fires in Greece.
Professor Rein said: “The combination of heat, wind and people in the Mediterranean is mortal. There have always been wildfires in the South but climate change is making them larger, faster, and harder to stop. The intense heat of the summer dries vegetation and makes it very flammable, easier to catch fire. A heat wave or an unusually hot summer leads to even more flammable forests.
“Strong winds greatly accelerate wildfire. The combination of wind and dry vegetation makes wildfires much faster. They become walls of flames that cannot be stopped by ground crews or slowed down by airtankers. Large wildfires might jump over firebreaks because of the intense heat they radiate over dozens of metres, and the flying embers that can carry flames kilometres away.
“Poor management of forests leads to increased fuel loads, vegetation of the most flammable type, and few or narrow firebreaks. This is unfortunate, because fire safety and ecology require determined and wise management of the forest.
“When all goes wrong, when dry vegetation is plentiful, there is wind and previous forest management was poor, then the fire brigades cannot do much, and evacuation of communities along the possible fire path must be evacuated with plenty of time to reach a safe place.”
Which Greek Islands have fires?
At present, Rhodes, Evia, Corfu and Zante are battling wildfires.