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Kefalonia wildfire out of control due to gale force winds, residents evacuated (UPD)

A big wildfire is raging on the island of Kefalonia in the Ionian Sea and has got out of controls due to the gale force winds blowing with intensity of 10 Beaufort.

Authorities have evacuated several houses as the fire rages in full force still on Thursday night

Authorities say that there is no order for general evacuation of the residents in the several villages and settlements affected by the wildfire.

The fire broke out in the area between Pastra and Katelio on Thursday morning.

According to local media, there are several fire fronts, 17 in total, extending from Mavrata to Skala on Thursday night.

Earlier locals were reportedly evacuated in the villages of Katelio and Skala.

In Markopoulo the situation is dramatic as the wildfire is close to the settlement houses.


 

“It is is dramatic what I experience right now. New fires keep arising,” deputy regional governor Giorgos Drakologkonas told media.

“There is no general evacuation order for villages,” the head of the local Civil Protection agency Vaggelis Andreatos said.

“We live the hell tonight with the focus on Katelio, one fire is being extinguished, the next starts, it is night from hell but we will manage it.”

He added that some villages are without electricity due to damaged power columns.

Drakologkonas said that they “have evacuated some houses, we opened some chicken coop and free the birds, we freed puppies, we removed bicycles on Ano Katelio. But there is no order for general evacuation. Some people leave due to the smoke.”

The wildfire in Pastra is the fourth that started in the south of Kefalonia in the last 24 hours.

The wildfires in Lagada, Kourkoumelata and Mantzavelata were taken earlier under control with firefighters working under extreme conditions.

Due to the gale winds, no additional firefighters or aerial mean could be deployed to the island.


UPDATE Friday, 8:00 am

The wildfire was partially under control on Friday morning, yet the blaze is still burning close to Ano Katelio, Kremmydi and Pastra.

Residents could return to their homes in Pastra around dawn.

Short before Thursday midnight a hotel in the area of Katelio was evacuated on precaution reasons.

According to local authorities, so far there has been only minor damage to properties.

A Super Puma is to be deployed and help with the fire extinction.

Two Canadair aircraft are standby but their deployment will much depend on the wind intensity.

There are currently winds blowing with 9 Beaufort.

Schools remain closed in Kefalonia on Friday, as the island is one of the areas expected to be hit by the Mediterranean Cyclone “Zorbas”.

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2 comments

  1. My wife and I are on holiday in Katelios very near to where the fire was yesterday. About 19-00hrs yesterday evening, everyone in the holiday accommodation around us was advised to pack a bag with essential items only and make our way to the beach area. The staff in the taverna’s that were able to open, were marvellous. I have never seen the beachfront tavernas so busy. Yet the staff kept their cool and hurried around serving everyone as quickly as possible. I’m sure that their attitude helped to keep everyone calm and continue as if there wasn’t a problem, even though we were all constantly going outside to keep a check on the progress of the fire which at one stage was only about 300 yards away along the beach. I would like to congratulate all the taverna owners / workers but especially the Blue Sea and Medusa.

    • Thanks for the feedback – we read also later that people were advised to go to the beach. Stay safe & enjoy the adventurous holiday.