Three C-130 aircraft have left Athens for Libya this morning in order to evacuate some 300 Greeks living and working in the chaos-driven country. They are expected to land at the airport of Tripoli and Sabha at 12 noon and return the same day.
According to Foreign Ministry estimations 100 Greeks will leave from Tripoli and 40 from Saha.
Deputy FM Dimitris Dollis is on board of one aircraft “because the operation to evacuate the 300 Greeks is considered to be difficult then some of them are in remote construction sites and we can not locate them” as he said prior to departure.
Meanwhile 2,000 Chinese citizens and 30 Greeks are on board of ferry boat Hellenic Spirit is expected to reach Herakleio port on Crete at 02:00 pm.
Captain Michalis Peteinarakis told Vima 99,5 fm that “the evacuees are safe and in good health, however frightened and exhausted”.
Another ferry boat, the Olympic Champion, carrying evacuees is expected to reach Heraklion port at noon as well.
A total of 15,000 people, mainly Chinese, are estimated to arrive to Crete from Libya.
Greeks Expats in Libya furious
Quite some Greek expatriates in Libya have contacted Greek media and websites to complain about the lack of information and evacuation coordination. Many Greeks work in remote construction sites in the dessert and find it hard to move around.
G. Mpousoulas speaking to Mega television said that nobody was picking up the phone at the Greek embassy in Tripoli and therefore he and 17 other Greeks missed the first ship that left the country carrying evacuees.
Similar is the experience of P. Koryfides who said that 20 Greeks and Cypriots were confined in a remote construction site in the middle of the dessert. “We know nothing about a rescue and evacuation operation”, he said.
A third man claimed they were told to cover a distance of 500 km , from Tripoli to Sidra, per taxi and that there was absolutely no contact to the Greek embassy. (sourceNewsIt)