Hundreds evacuated in Greece as fire rages through countryside in Corinth region

Greek authorities have evacuated around 300 people from their homes as a fire, which broke out on Wednesday night near a seaside resort on the Peloponnese peninsula, spread to surrounding villages.

No deaths have been reported but police spokesman Theodoros Chronopoulos told Reuters on Thursday that 300 people had been evacuated from their homes as the fire spread through the night. A fire brigade official said that the evacuation of six villages and two monasteries in the Gerania mountains had been ordered as a precaution. 

Local TV news suggests that houses have been badly damaged and that a northwesterly wind had encouraged the blaze to spread inland. 

According to the Athenian-Macedonian News Agency, a spokesman for the Fire Brigade, Vassilis Vathrakogiannis, said there was no official information on the scale of the damage caused. “So far we have no official data on damage to homes, most of which are holiday homes and are not currently inhabited,” he stated.  

In a post on Twitter, the Greek Fire Brigade said that more than 180 firefighters were tackling the blaze. An operation involving 62 fire trucks was being coordinated from the air, with 17 aircraft and three helicopters also in use. 

Athens Voice quoted the head of the Fire Brigade as saying that the fire is no longer spreading but operations will continue until all parts of the blaze are extinguished. 

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It has been claimed that the fire started in an olive grove and expanded to an area of low vegetation before reaching a forested area, according to some reports in Greek media.

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