Attica Fires Day Two
Not sure who made this google map, but you can clearly see where the fires are on it.
According to the BBC, the fires have now spread to Drafi, Pendeli, Pikermi and Pallin. Italy and France are sending firefighting assets — men, trucks, planes — to help battle the blaze. The BBC post also features dramatic video of the flames against the seaside and about to consume cafe furniture.
Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis has said the first priority is to protect people’s life and property. So far the other parties are standing in solidarity with ruling New Democracy saying the government is doing all it can. PASOK leader George Papandreou called the situation an “ecological disaster.” Perhaps the greatest criticism has come from LAOS (the Popular Orthodox Rally), which said the Karamanlis government failed to learn the lessons of 2007.
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The Associated Press and BBC report that Agios Stephanos was evacuated earlier today. The deputy mayor told Skai TV that they pleaded for help but the cavalry never arrived. In fact, many people have frantically called into television stations saying they had seen no help.
That may be a testament to the sheer size of the fire area (25 miles, 40 kilometers) and the high, unpredictable winds at play. In addition to an army of firefighters and soldiers the Greek state has also deployed helicopters and 14 airplanes. Two of those planes are Italian with more help coming from France and Cyprus.
Two of our reporters climbed Mt. Lykavitos to have a look and found that Mt. Pendeli was almost completely invisible due to smoke. Mt. Ymmittos was not much more visible. The wind was roaring and pushed those who had sweated up the hill around like confetti. With this wind, it’s no wonder the fire is difficult to control.