Greek PM apologises as fires rage on Evia island

  10 August 2021    Read: 295
Greek PM apologises as fires rage on Evia island

Greece's prime minister has apologised for failures in tackling the wildfires tearing across the country.

Hundreds of firefighters have been battling huge blazes that have forced thousands of people to flee their homes and destroyed dozens of properties.

"We may have done what was humanly possible, but in many cases it was not enough," Kyriakos Mitsotakis said.

Thick smoke is still pouring off the island of Evia, north-east of Athens, which has been ablaze for a week.

Dozens of homes and acres of forest have already been scorched to the ground in Evia, on the outskirts of the capital, and in other parts of Greece.

Hundreds of residents have been ordered to leave the island to escape the fires, though some were determined to stay to defend their properties.

"I completely understand the pain of our fellow citizens who saw their homes or property burning," Prime Minister Mitsotakis said in a TV address.

But he said the country was "facing a natural disaster of unprecedented dimensions".

Public anger has been growing at delays and breakdowns in the government's response, including an apparent lack of water-dropping planes.

Mr Mitsokasis said "any failures will be identified", but insisted firefighters were in a battle with "supernatural powers that often exceed their strength".

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