On 23 and 24 July, a number of wildfires broke out in parts of southern Greece. The fires aren’t widespread but where they have hit they have had a significant impact with a high death toll and an unknown number of people still missing.
It is thought that at least 79 people have died. A search is ongoing to find survivors, including people that attempted to escape the fire by taking to a boat or jumping straight into the sea.
Although wildfires are not uncommon in Greece, conditions have made the current fires much worse than usual. A combination of an unusually hot summer with strong winds following a dry winter have resulted in tinderbox conditions.
At the time of writing, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) isn’t advising against travel to Greece, stating that: “Most visits to Greece, including to Athens, are unaffected”.
The recommendation is to make sure you are up to date with local media reports and follow the guidance offered by Greek authorities if you are in an affected area.
The FCO did, however, have some advice for those already in Greece: “If you’ve been affected by the wildfires and need consular assistance, you can call the British Embassy in Athens on +30 210 7272 600. If you’re in the UK and worried about a British national in Greece, call the FCO on 020 7008 1500.”
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