Popular seaside resorts evacuated after Europe heatwave triggers more wildfires

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Seaside resorts in Greece have been evacuated as wildfires have continued during a heat storm across Europe.

The massive blaze started in Kouvaras – 30 miles from the Greek capital of Athens – forcing hundreds to flee.

Authorities said it is a difficult fire to deal with due to the strong winds, and Yannis Artopios, a firefighters’ spokesman, said: ‘It’s a difficult fire, the winds are really strong, with gusts reaching up to 37 miles per hour.

‘We are in the middle of the period of fighting fires. The conditions expected will be particularly difficult and favour forest fires.’

Greece has been gripped by a heatwave for the last week, with temperatures hitting 44C in some parts of the country.

Seven water-bombing aircraft, four choppers and a crew of 150 firefighters are fighting the flames on two fronts.

The team is also being helped by 30 colleagues from Romania.

Terrifying footage showed helicopters flying through a massive cloud of smoke.

The blaze burnt through brush and spread south toward the Attica region and the resorts of Lagonissi, Anavyssos and Saronida, while thick smoke blocked traffic on the roads around Kalyvia.

Authorities told residents to leave the burning area – and monks were evacuated from a local monastery.

A forest fire also erupted in strong winds near the Isthmus of Corinth, close to the popular beach town of Loutraki – where more evacuation orders have been put in place.

In the Acropolis in Athens – where the mercury hit 39C on Saturday – shut during the hottest hours for three days in a row.

In southern Europe, tourists are expecting temperatures of 49C.

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