Related video: Firefighters battle Western Greece wildfire burning through the night
A heat wave across southern Europe, fed by hot air from North Africa, has triggered deadly blazes across the Mediterranean with the death toll rising to eight on Sunday.
Wildfires are raging near Turkey’s holiday beach destinations of Antalya and Mugla and in the surrounding countryside, with villages destroyed, animals on fire and people being forced to evacuate.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called parts of southern Turkey hit by the fires “disaster areas.”
Blazes have also affected the Italian island of Sicily, Croatia and western Greece, where some residents had to be evacuated by boat to escape the flames.
On Sunday, bathers on an Italian beach south of the Adriatic city of Pescara fled when they spotted towering clouds of smoke and flames from a fire in a nearby pine forest.
Meanwhile, in Turkey's eastern Van province, floods over the weekend destroyed at least six houses after a small river overflowed amid heavy rains.
Turkish government to provide compensation for families and small businesses affected by fire
Turkey’s President Erdogan announed that the government will provide compensation for families who lost their homes or agricultural lands.
He explaiend that taxes, social security and credit payments will be postponed for those who have been affected by the blaze. Small businesses will also be offered credit with zero interest in a bid to help.
“We cannot do anything beyond wishing the mercy of God for the lives we have lost but we can replace everything that was burned,” he said.
Wildfire ignition caused by lightning, says professor
An associate professor at the University of New South Wales in Australia, Mark Diesendorf, suggested climate change is producing heatwaves and droughts. These in turn creates dry vegetation which more easily ignites large fires.
“Very often most of that ignition is caused by lightning … and then you have a firestorm,” he said, reported Al Jazeera.
“The best job the politicians can do now is to respond and mitigate climate change, which is the main, driving factor that’s increasing the severity and the frequency of these wildfires and also of floods.”
Workers with health conditions allowed time off work as Greek heatwave intensifies
Workers with health conditions in Greece have been allowed to take time off work as the country is experiencing a heatwave with highs of 45C.
Meanwhile, coal-fired power stations have been brought back into service from retirement in an attempt to shore up the national grid,as pressure on it grew due to widespread use of air conditioning.
Commenting on the heatwave in southeast Europe, Dann Mitchell, a professor of climate science at the University of Bristol, said that it “is not at all unexpected, and very likely enhanced due to human-induced climate change.”
“The number of extreme heat events around the world is increasing year on year, with the top 10 hottest years on record all occurring since 2005,” Mr Mitchell told The Associated Press.
Croatian town hit by fire and tornado
The town of Istria on Croatia’s northern Adriatic coast was hit by a small tornado which saw several cars destroyed and trees blown over.
Hours later, a large fire started outside the nearby resort of Trogir, affecting the local power supply and threatening homes.
Firefighters attempt to tackle the blaze in Turkey
(Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Climate crisis could kill 83 million people by 2100, study finds
The climate crisis would cause an estimated 83 million excess deaths by 2100, according to a new study.
The research paper, published on Wednesday, uses a new metric called the “mortality cost of carbon” to estimate the number of deaths caused by the emissions from putting one additional metric ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere.
The study’s metric is based on temperatures reaching an average of 4.1C by 2100.
Three Americans produce enough carbon emissions in a lifetime to kill one person, according to research paper
Convent of nuns among 800 evacuated from Pescara in Italy
Around 800 people were evacuated from their homes in Pescara when the Pineta Dannunziana nature reserve caught alight.
This included a convent of nuns who were forced to leave their nunnery.
“We had to evacuate several homes and beach resorts due to the smoke,” said Carlo Masci, the mayor of Pescara. “The biggest problem is the hot wind. We are doing the best we can to limit the damage.”
Turkey’s president: ‘We will continue to take all steps to heal the wounds of our people'
Following a visit to areas of Turkey devastated by wildfires, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called parts of five provinces on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast “disaster zones.”
The president arrived by helicopter on Saturday and later tweeted: “We will continue to take all steps to heal the wounds of our people, to compensate for losses and to improve opportunities to better than before.”
Turkish sea evacuation
On the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, over 1,100 people were evacuated from Bodrum by boats on Sunday for the second day in a row.
“We helped the evacuation of 1,140 people by 12 boats,” said Orhan Dinc, the president of the Bodrum Maritime Chamber, reported CNN.
“We did evacuation by boats yesterday as well, but I have never witnessed something similar before in this region. This is the first time,” he said.
Bodrum previously evacuated 1,100 people with over 20 boats on Saturday, the city’s Mayor Ahmet Aras said.
The seaside city is a popular holiday spot for Turkish and foreign tourists alike.
Locals look on from the beach as water-carrying planes tackle Greek wildfires
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