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Tourists pulled from beach over forest fires in Italian city of Pescara

At least five people have been injured and tourists evacuated by forest fires in the Italian city of Pescara. This is reported by Italian media. Three injured people are said to have tried to extinguish the fire that had reached their home.

The fire broke out in a central 53-hectare park and quickly spread further. More than 800 people have been evacuated, including nuns in a convent and residents of a care home. A school burned down and several cars went up in flames. According to Italian media, beachgoers were evacuated and some visitors to the beach fled.

“We had to evacuate several homes and beach resorts because of the smoke,” Mayor Masci of Pescara told Italy’s Ansa news agency. “We are doing what we can to limit the damage.”

Hour-long delays

The Abruzzo region, in which Pescara is located, has asked the government in Rome for help. The fires have also brought some traffic to a standstill in some areas. Ansa reports that trains on the railway along the Adriatic coast suffered delays of up to more than 6.5 hours yesterday. Long traffic jams also arose because toll gates were closed.

In Italy, the fire brigade called out more than 800 times last weekend, especially in the south of the country. The Italian fire brigade mainly reports many fires in Sicily (250) and in Apulia and Calabria (130). Dozens of requests for help for the deployment of fire-fighting aircraft came from all over the country. Hundreds of firefighters have been deployed to fight the blaze.

EU sends planes to Turkey

There are also major problems due to forest fires in other parts of southern Europe. Including in Turkey, where the wildfires have a large part of the Turkish Riviera in its grip. So far, eight people have been killed in Turkey. Near the city of Bodrum, hotel guests and employees had to be evacuated by boat.

The European Commission has announced aid for Turkey. Two Spanish firefighting planes and a Croatian firefighting plane have been sent to the country to help fight the fires. The committee speaks in a statement of “unprecedented forest fires”. “We are ready to offer more help,” said European Commissioner Lenarcic.

Electricity problems in Rhodes

In Greece, parts of the island of Rhodes are without electricity, according to the Greek broadcaster ERT. Forest fires have damaged the electricity network. Authorities have called on residents of several villages to leave, as there are fears the fires are spreading.

The government warns of power cuts, and has urged people not to use too much power. It could be 44 or 45 degrees in parts of Greece in the coming days. People are asked not to set the air conditioning lower than 26 degrees.

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