Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis appoints a new minister in charge of recovery from natural disasters in a bid to defuse growing anger over the struggle to curb wildfires that have charred thousands of hectares of forest.
More than 247,000 acres have been burned by wildfires raging across Greece over the last two weeks, data from European Forest Fire Information System shows.
Authorities say a water-bombing aircraft struggled to operate in Evia, Greece's second largest island, because of the large plumes of smoke blanketing the area. PM Mitsotakis said the citizens will be compensated for properties lost.
Thousands of residents and vacationers in areas where fires broke out days ago have fled by land and by sea as firefighters and volunteers battled through the night.
As the heat wave scorching the eastern Mediterranean intensified, temperatures reached 42 degrees Celsius in parts of the Greek capital.
A state of emergency has been declared in regions of the densely-forested island east of Athens after the blaze broke out, fanned by strong winds and high temperatures.
Dozens of firefighters backed by water-dropping aircraft battle a wildfire on an island north of Athens that has left the Greek capital blanketed in smoke.
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