Satellite Images Showcase Greece's Devastation From Wildfires

50,910 hectares of vegetation were destroyed by the fire.
Loukia Papadopoulos

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Nowhere is this more true than in these images acquired by the Copernicus satellite that clearly showcase Greece's devastation in just 10 days. 

"These images, acquired by one of the Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellites on 1 August and 11 August 2021, provide a view of the burnt area resulting from the devastating wildfire that hit the Greek island of Evia," states the satellite's webpage describing the images.

"According to the data of the Rapid mapping module of the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (CEMS), 50,910 ha of vegetation were destroyed by the fire that broke out on 4 August."

Thousands of firefighters have been fighting the wildfires in Evia. However, the fire was only partially contained after seven days. In what is some good news reports of torrential rains that are now supporting the fire-fighting activities have come through but several lightning strikes have triggered new fires.

Reuters report notes that the fleeing residents describe what's been going on in Evia as a "horror movie." 

A week-long heatwave, Greece's worst in three decades, saw searing temperatures and hot winds create ideal conditions for the fires to soar. As a result, forest land has burned in flames, homes, and businesses have been destroyed, and residents have been evacuated from their neighborhoods.

The governor for central Greece, Fanis Spanos, described the situation in the north of the island as "very difficult".

"The fronts are huge, the area of burned land is huge," he told Skai TV. He added that thousands of people have been moved to hotels and other shelters.

The European Forest Fire Information System has stated that the risk of new fires in the region in the coming days remains at “extreme danger” or “very extreme danger" levels.

No one at this point knows for sure what it will take to stop these fires and how much more devastation they will cause before coming to an end.

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