Heat Emergency Brings Record Temperature and Fires to Southern Europe

WORLD

The New York Times 03 August, 2021 - 11:47am 70 views

Where are the turkey fires?

The fires, in areas around the southern city of Antalya and parts of Turkey's Turquoise Coast, have killed eight people so far, razed farms and miles of pine forest, and forced evacuations from villages, towns and resorts at the peak of the tourist season. Rescuers raced to save animals as livestock were burned alive. The Washington PostTurkish wildfires burn out of control as local officials plead for help

Turkey's skies are yellow with smokey haze from wildfires.

Thousands have fled coastal towns, both residents and tourists, to escape the flames that have been blazing on the country's southern coast for six days. In Mugla province, 10,000 people were evacuated, according to Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu. Some have escaped by car, others by boat.

The death toll has risen to eight.

The fires are part of over 100 blazes that broke out across more than 30 Turkish provinces, most of which have been contained or extinguished. Fed by strong winds and high temperatures, experts are pointing to climate change and human accidents as the culprits, although the causes of the fires remain under investigation. Southern Europe currently bakes in a heat wave that has also fed wildfires in Greece and Sicily.

Fighting the flames are locals and planes sent from the European Union, Russia, Ukraine, Croatia, Spain, Iran and Azerbaijan, their crews working in Antalya and Mugla provinces to fight nine fires, and more active fires in the Isparta, Denizli, Izmir and Adana provinces.

The flames have destroyed farms, homes and forests, and killed livestock. Satellite photos released by Turkey show a blackened coastline that stretches for miles.

"We are going through days when the heat is above 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), where the winds are strong and humidity is extremely low," Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said. "We are struggling under such difficult conditions."

Read full article at The New York Times

Erdoğan thanks countries sending help, condolences for wildfires | Daily Sabah

Daily Sabah 03 August, 2021 - 02:40pm

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday thanked countries that were sending aid, expressing condolences and stating a readiness to assist in Turkey’s fight against blazes tearing through forests and villages on the country's southern coast.

“I thank on my nation’s behalf all the friendly countries and organizations that have extended their support, get-well wishes and condolences, voiced their readiness to help, and provided aid in our fight against the forest fires. We will inshallah overcome these difficult times as soon as possible,” he wrote on Twitter.

Most recently, three firefighting planes from Spain and Croatia have joined international efforts to battle blazes sweeping across Turkey's south.

One plane from Croatia landed in the southern province of Antalya late Monday while two Canadairs from Spain arrived in the nearby city of Muğla on Tuesday.

At least 154 large wildfires broke out in Turkey over the past week, the president's office said on Tuesday, the worst fire catastrophe in decades.

Ukraine, Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan have separately deployed firefighter planes to Turkey.

A total of 16 planes, 51 helicopters and more than 5,000 personnel were tackling the fires, officials said.

A heatwave across southern Europe, fed by hot air from North Africa, has led to wildfires across the Mediterranean, including in Italy and Greece.

Bu web sitesinde çerezler kullanılmaktadır. İnternet sitemizin düzgün çalışması, kişiselleştirilmiş reklam deneyimi, internet sitemizi optimize edebilmemiz, ziyaret tercihlerinizi hatırlayabilmemiz için veri politikası ndaki amaçlarla sınırlı ve mevzuata uygun şekilde çerez konumlandırmaktayız. "Tamam" ı tıklayarak, çerezlerin yerleştirilmesine izin vermektesiniz. Çerez ayarlarınızı daha fazla öğrenmek veya değiştirmek için ayarlar bölümünden devam edebilirsiniz.

İzniniz aşağıdaki alanlar için geçerlidir: www.dailysabah.com

Çerez beyanı en son July 7, 2021 tarihinde Cookiebot tarafından güncellenmiştir:

Gerekli çerezler, sayfada gezinme ve web-sitesinin güvenli alanlarına erişim gibi temel işlevleri sağlayarak web-sitesinin daha kullanışlı hale getirilmesine yardımcı olur. Web-sitesi bu çerezler olmadan doğru bir şekilde işlev gösteremez.

İstatistik çerezler, web-sitesi sahiplerinin, isimsiz olarak bilgi toplayıp raporlama yaparak ziyaretçilerin web-siteleriyle nasıl etkileşim halinde olduklarını anlamalarına yardımcı olur.

Pazarlama çerezleri web-sitelerindeki ziyaretçileri izlemek amacıyla kullanılır. Amaç, bireysel kullanıcıya yönelik onun ilgisini çeken reklamlar göstermek olup yayıncı ve üçüncü taraf reklamcılara değer sağlamaktır.

Sınıflandırılmamış çerezler, bireysel çerez sağlayıcılarıyla birlikte sınıflandırma sürecinde olduğumuz çerezlerdir.

Watch out, it's wildfire season: What to do in a fire in Turkey | Daily Sabah

Daily Sabah 03 August, 2021 - 02:40pm

As anyone remotely interested in Turkey will know, last week the country suffered from scores of catastrophic wildfires that forced evacuations from villages and even hotels. Fires erupted in Antalya’s Manavgat, Bodrum, Marmaris, Ortaca, Datça, Adana and the list goes on. The ramifications of the damage caused by the fires this week is yet to be tallied, but in just a few days 80 hectares (nearly 200 acres) had burned down in Bodrum, there was one death and 27 homes and a factory turned to dust in Marmaris, and in Manavgat, which had to evacuate 18 villages, at least eight people lost their lives as dozens more are still receiving treatment. While we have gotten used to witnessing fires ravage countries and our loved ones abroad, this time the violent wake of the spread of wildfires is in our own backyard and thus it is important to be prepared for such instances and to know what to do if it happens to you!

I recently wrote about a fire that destroyed my decked-out terrace in Istanbul, which I suspect was due to a lit cigarette landing on the cushioning or fabrics I had hanging to shield the sun. However, what I failed to mention is that I actually experienced an even more ravaging fire that I literally had to try and put out alongside many members of my neighborhood that if not extinguished could have been catastrophic. This was a wildfire that quickly spread throughout a field of weeds and trees that lined my home in Bodrum’s beloved Gümüşlük area. One of the last natural spots left in the center of town, how the fire started is unknown; however, there was talk of children playing with firecrackers amongst the weeds.

The scariest and most important fact about a fire is that unlike thunder or lightning or even an earthquake, it comes with no warning and is eerily silent. I learned this as I was sitting at my desk working on my computer with the music on late one evening with the curtains understandably closed. If it hadn’t been for my upstairs neighbor who noticed the flames when he went out on the terrace for a smoke, I really don’t know how I would have ever known there was a fire meters away from my home before it would have been engulfed in flames.

When I pushed aside the curtain to look all I saw was orange light. My neighbor had already begun loading up his car with his most valued items, including his computer and television as I scrambled to locate my cat and dog and secure them in the car for the time being. When I opened the door, neighbors had already begun to arrive and brought buckets and hoses and were watering down the fence, trees and grass belonging to my home, which was the primary one in danger.

The smoke made it very difficult to see, never mind breathe and so we immediately closed all of the windows and doors to secure any clean air available. I immediately called the fire department, who asked that we clear the area of cars so they could have easy access. With the pets in tow, I jumped in my car and drove off down the street to provide space for the firefighters to do their job. But the throngs of people on the street that ran to the fire to attempt to help were unlike anything I could have imagined. My neighbors next door immediately hooked up a hose to their pool and pumped out the water onto the burning field. I parked with a viewpoint of the fire and watched as everyone drove off in their cars to empty out the street. The firefighters arrived and in half an hour the entire incident was over with the exception of the blackened field of burned trees that have since remained in plain sight, serving as a constant reminder.

Keep in mind that as the fires are ravaging multiple spots along Turkey’s southern coast, many entertainment events have been canceled in solidarity and respect for the victims of the devastation. To expats or visitors to Turkey, this may seem foreign, but here in this country, the people find it hard to celebrate and have fun while others and the country itself are suffering.

The decision to restrict access to forested areas for the next fortnight or month has also been made by a number of municipalities including Istanbul, Bursa, Çanakkale, Izmir and Gaziantep.

AKUT, Turkey’s Search and Rescue Association, recently released a series of instructions on what to do when you are faced with a fire. The primary course of action when witnessing a fire is to immediately alert those in the nearby surroundings by yelling, sounding off an alarm and immediately dialing 112, which is now the centralized number in Turkey for all emergency services, including the fire department. AKUT strongly advises against attempting to put out a fire that is out of control and to instead make sure you safely clear the area to make space for firefighters.

In the case of a fire coming near a residence or place of business, never use an elevator. Make sure to not open any windows as air circulation could instantly increase and even ignite flames and you want to protect any good quality air you have. If you have to contend with smoke, then cover your nose and mouth with a wet cloth and crawl to lower your body as close to the ground as possible since heat rises. Before opening any doors, AKUT advises to run the top side of your hand against it from top to bottom to check for any heat spots coming from the other side. If heat is resonating through the door, then the directive is to try to wet it with damp towels or block the door with something to further obstruct any potential flames. AKUT also reminds us to “stop, drop, rock and roll,” which was how it was taught to us in the U.S. in which you drop and roll on the ground; however, their advice is to try to first wrap yourself in a blanket if possible.

AFAD, which is short for the Ministry of Interior’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority, oversees all governmental efforts in natural disasters. On its website, there are constant updates on the ongoing wildfires as well as a search engine and map of all emergency gathering spots in the country. They also have a volunteer program that they provide training for. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry website, at ogm.gov.tr, has a regularly updated list of the recent fires and denotes whether they are under control or still active. AKUT is also providing updates on the fires and offers the opportunity to volunteer in rescue efforts. Turkey’s Red Crescent, Kızılay, is also assisting victims and accepting donations.

Founded by none other than Turkish rock star Haluk Levent, Ahbap.org is a website that aims to connect those in need with those who can help. In the wake of the wildfires, they have set up a map that has designating points of hotels offering to host those affected by the fire. There is also a form you can submit if you would like to volunteer a vehicle to help with evacuation efforts.

On Friday, July 30, the Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion for the Reforestation and Protection of Natural Habitats (TEMA) launched a campaign to collect donations for the replanting of trees in areas devastated by the fire. Donation accounts have been opened for each individual province affected by the fires. TEMA is an organization that also takes volunteers.

The animal rights federation HAYTAP has offered to bear the costs of treatment for any injured animals in the fires in Antalya and Adana and they are also accepting donations. Meanwhile, the Marmaris Municipality has also announced that any animals harmed by the fires will be treated free of cost by the district’s veterinarians, and that includes turtles, porcupines and birds. In Bodrum, the Yücelen Hayvan Hastanesi, which is a veterinary hospital, has also opened its doors 24/7 for any animals that have been affected. There have also been posts in expat Facebook groups of at least one volunteer that was searching scorched areas for animals.

Calls from a number of municipalities have gone out for emergency supplies, such as batteries, water and ayran (a refreshing yogurt drink whose saltiness is ideal for replenishing electrolytes), and many have established collection points so you can check with your local officials should you choose to contribute.

Bu web sitesinde çerezler kullanılmaktadır. İnternet sitemizin düzgün çalışması, kişiselleştirilmiş reklam deneyimi, internet sitemizi optimize edebilmemiz, ziyaret tercihlerinizi hatırlayabilmemiz için veri politikası ndaki amaçlarla sınırlı ve mevzuata uygun şekilde çerez konumlandırmaktayız. "Tamam" ı tıklayarak, çerezlerin yerleştirilmesine izin vermektesiniz. Çerez ayarlarınızı daha fazla öğrenmek veya değiştirmek için ayarlar bölümünden devam edebilirsiniz.

İzniniz aşağıdaki alanlar için geçerlidir: www.dailysabah.com

Çerez beyanı en son July 7, 2021 tarihinde Cookiebot tarafından güncellenmiştir:

Gerekli çerezler, sayfada gezinme ve web-sitesinin güvenli alanlarına erişim gibi temel işlevleri sağlayarak web-sitesinin daha kullanışlı hale getirilmesine yardımcı olur. Web-sitesi bu çerezler olmadan doğru bir şekilde işlev gösteremez.

İstatistik çerezler, web-sitesi sahiplerinin, isimsiz olarak bilgi toplayıp raporlama yaparak ziyaretçilerin web-siteleriyle nasıl etkileşim halinde olduklarını anlamalarına yardımcı olur.

Pazarlama çerezleri web-sitelerindeki ziyaretçileri izlemek amacıyla kullanılır. Amaç, bireysel kullanıcıya yönelik onun ilgisini çeken reklamlar göstermek olup yayıncı ve üçüncü taraf reklamcılara değer sağlamaktır.

Sınıflandırılmamış çerezler, bireysel çerez sağlayıcılarıyla birlikte sınıflandırma sürecinde olduğumuz çerezlerdir.

Heat Emergency Brings Record Temperature and Fires to Southern Europe

Daily Sabah 03 August, 2021 - 09:18am

Greece experienced its hottest day on record this week, and wildfires raged across the region, leaving much of Southern Europe struggling to cope.

ATHENS — Greece was grappling with one of its hottest weeks on record on Tuesday as an intense heat wave swept through much of Southern Europe and fueled major forest fires.

The National Observatory of Athens weather service on Monday registered the highest temperature ever officially recorded in the country — 46.3 degrees Celsius, or 115.3 degrees Fahrenheit — in the central Greek region of Phthiotis.

Temperatures were forecast to climb to 113 degrees Fahrenheit in Athens on Tuesday and top 115 degrees in parts of central Greece, according to the country’s National Meteorological Service.

“We are facing the worst heat wave since 1987,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Monday, noting that the authorities were doing “everything humanly possible” to secure an adequate electricity supply. He appealed to people to limit their use of electricity in the early afternoon and at night to ensure that the grid holds up.

While scientists have yet to draw a firm connection between this barrage of stifling temperatures and global warming, it fits an overall trend. Heat waves around the world are occurring more often and with higher intensity as the climate changes because of greenhouse gas emissions.

Research has shown that for major heat waves across Europe in recent summers, climate change has been a significant worsening factor.

Greece’s meteorological service said the current heat wave was one of the worst of the past 40 years. It is forecast to end on Friday, after 11 days.

More than 1,000 people died in a 10-day heat wave that gripped Greece in 1987 and saw temperatures climb to more than 111 degrees Fahrenheit in Athens, the capital. The highest temperature on record for Athens was 112.6 degrees Fahrenheit, recorded in 2007, according to the observatory, which has records stretching back more than 160 years.

This week, officials appealed to vulnerable members of the public, particularly older people and pregnant women, to avoid leaving their homes. The government also opened cooling centers for homeless people.

The Culture Ministry said that all archaeological sites would remain closed from noon to 5 p.m. through Friday. Museums remained open, however, and footage of long lines of people waiting outside the capital’s Acropolis museum was aired on Greek television.

There were similar lines at the port of Piraeus, where passengers awaited ferries for the islands, pulling down their face masks to drink from water bottles or use hand-held fans.

Athens’ central Syntagma Square, typically buzzing with crowds, was relatively quiet on Tuesday as tourists huddled under the shade of trees or dipped their hands into the water fountain to cool off.

The heat wave and an accompanying drought have fueled several wildfires in Greece and other parts of Southern Europe, including Croatia, Italy and Turkey.

Greek firefighters were on Tuesday battling a new forest fire that broke out in the early afternoon at the foot of Mount Parnitha, north of Athens, prompting hundreds of people to flee their homes. A village and children’s camp were evacuated and a section of the nearby highway was closed to traffic.

The worst blazes this week were in Turkey, where firefighters were battling a sixth day of wildfires along the country’s southern coast that forced tens of thousands from their homes. The fires were encroaching on residential areas and threatened a power plant.

At least eight people have died, and homes and vast tracts of forestland have been destroyed. Strong winds and a dry atmosphere have allowed the fires to rapidly expand.

“I’m struggling to breathe, the weather is that hot,” Gulcin Hacievliyagil Ayce, a Turkish television reporter, told Haber Turk TV on Tuesday while reporting in the city of Marmaris.

In a video posted to the Twitter account of the city’s mayor, Mehmet Oktay, he stood in front of a hillside of charred trees and pleaded for more aerial firefighting support. “Although we have been demanding more air support since the beginning, today there is only one helicopter, no planes,” he said.

Flames and plumes of billowing gray smoke rose behind white villas in the town of Milas in television footage on Tuesday, and officials warned of the risk that the flames could reach a nearby power plant. “We are at a critical point,” Muhammet Tokat, the town’s mayor, said in a post on Twitter overnight.

The fires in Turkey led to the evacuation of thousands from seaside resorts and villages, and the European Union sent water-dropping aircraft to assist in the firefighting effort.

Turkey’s central government has been widely denounced over its response to the disaster, including hiring planes from Russia. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that the country’s own planes are not capable of stopping the blazes.

Sukru Durmus, the head of the agriculture and forest workers’ union, said that the extreme weather conditions had laid the ground for the wildfires, but that misconduct by Turkey’s government and a lack of precautionary measures had worsened the situation.

In Greece, the largest fires were in the southern Peloponnese peninsula and on the island of Rhodes in the southern Aegean Sea, opposite the Turkish coast. On Monday, the authorities declared a state of emergency in parts of Rhodes after a fire that broke out on Sunday destroyed hundreds of acres of forestland and prompted the evacuation of villages, a military base and a popular nature reserve.

Greece’s fire service said that dozens of fires were being reported daily, and officials noted that there had been 1,584 in July, compared with 953 in July 2019.

“We are no longer talking about climate change, but a climate threat,” Nikos Hardalias, the country’s Deputy Civil Protection Minister, told Greek television on Sunday.

Heat Emergency Brings Record Temperature and Fires to Southern Europe

Common Dreams 03 August, 2021 - 09:18am

Greece experienced its hottest day on record this week, and wildfires raged across the region, leaving much of Southern Europe struggling to cope.

ATHENS — Greece was grappling with one of its hottest weeks on record on Tuesday as an intense heat wave swept through much of Southern Europe and fueled major forest fires.

The National Observatory of Athens weather service on Monday registered the highest temperature ever officially recorded in the country — 46.3 degrees Celsius, or 115.3 degrees Fahrenheit — in the central Greek region of Phthiotis.

Temperatures were forecast to climb to 113 degrees Fahrenheit in Athens on Tuesday and top 115 degrees in parts of central Greece, according to the country’s National Meteorological Service.

“We are facing the worst heat wave since 1987,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Monday, noting that the authorities were doing “everything humanly possible” to secure an adequate electricity supply. He appealed to people to limit their use of electricity in the early afternoon and at night to ensure that the grid holds up.

While scientists have yet to draw a firm connection between this barrage of stifling temperatures and global warming, it fits an overall trend. Heat waves around the world are occurring more often and with higher intensity as the climate changes because of greenhouse gas emissions.

Research has shown that for major heat waves across Europe in recent summers, climate change has been a significant worsening factor.

Greece’s meteorological service said the current heat wave was one of the worst of the past 40 years. It is forecast to end on Friday, after 11 days.

More than 1,000 people died in a 10-day heat wave that gripped Greece in 1987 and saw temperatures climb to more than 111 degrees Fahrenheit in Athens, the capital. The highest temperature on record for Athens was 112.6 degrees Fahrenheit, recorded in 2007, according to the observatory, which has records stretching back more than 160 years.

This week, officials appealed to vulnerable members of the public, particularly older people and pregnant women, to avoid leaving their homes. The government also opened cooling centers for homeless people.

The Culture Ministry said that all archaeological sites would remain closed from noon to 5 p.m. through Friday. Museums remained open, however, and footage of long lines of people waiting outside the capital’s Acropolis museum was aired on Greek television.

There were similar lines at the port of Piraeus, where passengers awaited ferries for the islands, pulling down their face masks to drink from water bottles or use hand-held fans.

Athens’ central Syntagma Square, typically buzzing with crowds, was relatively quiet on Tuesday as tourists huddled under the shade of trees or dipped their hands into the water fountain to cool off.

The heat wave and an accompanying drought have fueled several wildfires in Greece and other parts of Southern Europe, including Croatia, Italy and Turkey.

Greek firefighters were on Tuesday battling a new forest fire that broke out in the early afternoon at the foot of Mount Parnitha, north of Athens, prompting hundreds of people to flee their homes. A village and children’s camp were evacuated and a section of the nearby highway was closed to traffic.

The worst blazes this week were in Turkey, where firefighters were battling a sixth day of wildfires along the country’s southern coast that forced tens of thousands from their homes. The fires were encroaching on residential areas and threatened a power plant.

At least eight people have died, and homes and vast tracts of forestland have been destroyed. Strong winds and a dry atmosphere have allowed the fires to rapidly expand.

“I’m struggling to breathe, the weather is that hot,” Gulcin Hacievliyagil Ayce, a Turkish television reporter, told Haber Turk TV on Tuesday while reporting in the city of Marmaris.

In a video posted to the Twitter account of the city’s mayor, Mehmet Oktay, he stood in front of a hillside of charred trees and pleaded for more aerial firefighting support. “Although we have been demanding more air support since the beginning, today there is only one helicopter, no planes,” he said.

Flames and plumes of billowing gray smoke rose behind white villas in the town of Milas in television footage on Tuesday, and officials warned of the risk that the flames could reach a nearby power plant. “We are at a critical point,” Muhammet Tokat, the town’s mayor, said in a post on Twitter overnight.

The fires in Turkey led to the evacuation of thousands from seaside resorts and villages, and the European Union sent water-dropping aircraft to assist in the firefighting effort.

Turkey’s central government has been widely denounced over its response to the disaster, including hiring planes from Russia. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that the country’s own planes are not capable of stopping the blazes.

Sukru Durmus, the head of the agriculture and forest workers’ union, said that the extreme weather conditions had laid the ground for the wildfires, but that misconduct by Turkey’s government and a lack of precautionary measures had worsened the situation.

In Greece, the largest fires were in the southern Peloponnese peninsula and on the island of Rhodes in the southern Aegean Sea, opposite the Turkish coast. On Monday, the authorities declared a state of emergency in parts of Rhodes after a fire that broke out on Sunday destroyed hundreds of acres of forestland and prompted the evacuation of villages, a military base and a popular nature reserve.

Greece’s fire service said that dozens of fires were being reported daily, and officials noted that there had been 1,584 in July, compared with 953 in July 2019.

“We are no longer talking about climate change, but a climate threat,” Nikos Hardalias, the country’s Deputy Civil Protection Minister, told Greek television on Sunday.

WORLD Stories