What is happening on Rhodes?

A wildfire that has been raging on the Greek island of Rhodes has entered its sixth day, forcing evacuations and causing concern for holidaymakers.

Coastguard vessels and more than 30 private boats have evacuated at least 2,000 people, including tourists, from beaches in the southeastern part of the island.

Firefighters have been backed by air water bombers and reinforcements but have struggled with new outbreaks of the wildfire, which has been fanned by strong winds.

Authorities have warned that the situation could get worse on Sunday, with highs of 45 degrees anticipated presenting a very high risk of further wildfires.

Fires are common in Greece but hotter, drier and windy summers have turned the country into a wildfire hotspot in recent years. 

Meteorologists have warned that the current sweltering temperatures are expected to last until the end of the month. 

British tourist describes hotel evacuation

British tourist James Hall spoke to Sky News about the situation on Rhodes, explaining that he received a text from authorities saying to evacuate immediately.

“On leaving the hotel we have just been told to walk south, to walk as far as we can really.”

He described how he and his companions had to drag their suitcases for two hours in 40-degree heat.

Greek government issues update

The Greek government has just issued an update on what is happening on Rhodes, with wildfires now in their sixth day.

It said: “The operations are taking place now at Kyotari and southwest to Gennadi. 

“On evacuations, locals and visitors have been redirected at hotels, conference centres, schools and other public spaces and are being catered for (food, water, medical observation). 

“In coordination with the MFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) today a hotspot at Rhodes airport will be set up so that visitors who have lost their travel documents during evacuation can travel back home.”

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