The country is for yet another year experiencing, unprotected, the annual nightmare of wildfires, with human lives lost, hundreds of houses burnt down, and destroyed oases of green forestland.
Last night, both in Corinth and in Eastern Attica, was reminiscent of Dante’s Inferno. Nobody until now was in a position to determine the extent and depth of the catastrophe.
The intensity of the fronts of the fire was such that citizens sought refuge by the sea.
Late at night, there were reports of dead and trapped people, especially on the front of the coast of Eastern Attica.
The unfortunate thing is that over the previous days there were warnings from the Meteorological Service that there was a heightened danger of wildfires, due to the approaching heat wave.
Indeed, once the temperature rose and the meltemi winds began, fires popped up out of nowhere in the region of Corinth and Eastern Attica, endangering thousands of citizens, who saw their property being lost before their eyes.
The fires spread, due to the strong winds, with a speed that startled firefighting forces, which proved unable and largely unprepared to confront the disastrous inferno.
It is premature to attribute responsibilities. Still, we cannot but note that for yet another year we are witnessing the same phenomenon.
This is aggravated by the fact that the dangers due to climate change, which confronts people ever more with extraordinary phenomena, had been underlined.
The competent services should have been on a war footing for some time. The means of firefighting, and the readiness of firefighting forces and of competent regional authorities, should have been increased, and elevated to a state of emergency.
In every way, the coming disaster was predictable. The region of Corinth has very many wildfires each year, and there is a wildfire in Parnitha at least once every three years.
Those who engender rage are the “officials”.
Every year, in a rote manner, they hasten to disseminate the usual scenarios and their suspicions, obviously in order to hide their own responsibilities and complacency.
Greece has many bitter experiences from such phenomena, and has mourned hundreds of victims over the last decades.
That means that there is no longer any excuse for any governmental or bureaucratic imbecility.
Wildfires are here, and each year they will become more dangerous.
Enough is enough. There is no longer any room for cheap excuses.
The state is obliged to be properly equipped. The firefighting mechanisms must acquire a preventive capacity and a readiness for immediate intervention exactly when wildfires break out.
Otherwise, unfortunately, each year we will count ever greater losses.
Το κράτος οφείλει να εξοπλιστεί καταλλήλως και το σημαντικότερο ο πυροσβεστικός μηχανισμός να αποκτήσει δυνατότητα πρόληψης και ετοιμότητα άμεσης αντίδρασης σχεδόν ταυτόχρονα με την εκδήλωση των πυρκαγιών. Αλλιώς δυστυχώς κάθε χρόνο θα μετράμε ολοένα και περισσότερες απώλειες.