Watch: Aerial shots of devastation from wildfires on Greek island of Rhodes
An easyJet pilot has told tourists that flying to Rhodes is a “terrible idea” just minutes before taking off, it has been reported, as wildfires spread across Greece.
Journalist Gwyn Loader, who was on the flight to the island to report for BBC Wales’ Welsh-language news programme Newyddion, said eight passengers subsequently decided to disembark, including a young boy who was in tears.
The pilot told passengers over the Tannoy: “Travelling to Rhodes for a holiday at the moment is a terrible idea.”
They continued: “As far as I’m concerned, this flight is being operated on an emergency basis. Return flights are now being managed by the military. If you want to get off the flight, you are welcome to do so.”
After the blaze in Rhodes prompted “the biggest evacuation” in Greek history, Crete is at “extreme risk” of raging wildfires, while around 2,500 people have already been evacuated from Corfu, which has been enduring dozens of blazes.
Jet2 and Tui cancelled all flights to Rhodes until Friday 28 July, while up to 10,000 British tourists are feared to be on the island, a minister has warned.
The Independent has approached easyJet for comment.
Watch live: Wildfire rages on Greek island of Rhodes
Tara Cobham25 July 2023 09:45
Michael Gove going on holiday to Greek island currently being evacuated
Michael Gove is going to Evia in a week despite Greek authorities evacuating parts of the island.
The housing secretary is visiting the island, off the eastern coast of mainland Greece, after it became caught up in the “nightmare” wildfires engulfing the country.
Mr Gove told Sky News: “I am planning to go to Greece in just over a week’s time.” He added that he was visiting Evia.
Asked whether he was worried about the raging fires, Mr Gove said: “No, I am not.
“I want to make sure that as a government that we do everything possible to support Greece and indeed our tourists.”
Tara Cobham25 July 2023 09:30
Palermo airport closed and two killed in north as fires and storms batter Italy
Wildfires forced the closure of Palermo airport in Sicily on Tuesday as extreme weather continued to batter Italy, with severe storms causing damage and at least two deaths in the north of the country.
The airport in the Sicilian capital would remain shut until 9am (GMT), its operator said on Twitter, as firefighters were working to put out a major blaze in a nearby area that also disrupted local road and rail traffic.
In some parts of eastern Sicily, temperatures rose to 47.6 Celsius (117.7 Fahrenheit) on Monday, close to a record European high of 48.8 Celsius recorded on the island two years ago.
On Tuesday, Italy put 16 cities on red alert because of the high temperatures. These include Palermo and Catania, where power and water supply cuts that local officials blamed in part on the heat have been frequent in recent days. Meanwhile, an overnight storm in Milan tore off roofs and uprooted trees, blocking roads and disrupting overground transportation in Italy’s financial capital.
Two women were killed on Monday and Tuesday in the northern Monza and Brescia provinces after being crushed by falling trees.
Tara Cobham25 July 2023 09:10
Watch: Man dies in Switzerland after building crane falls in storm
A man has died and 15 others are injured after a violent storm hit the town of La-Chaux-de-Fonds in northwestern Switzerland.
Rain, hail and winds of up to 135 kilometres per hour were recorded on Monday evening, Swiss public broadcaster SRF said on Tuesday. This caused damage to structures, trees and vehicles.
The storm “unfortunately caused the death of a person in their fifties following the fall of a building crane”, Neuchâtel local police said in a press release.
Man dies in Switzerland after building crane falls in violent storm
A man has died and 15 others are injured after a violent storm hit the town of La-Chaux-de-Fonds in northwestern Switzerland. Rain, hail and winds of up to 135 kilometres per hour were recorded on Monday evening, Swiss public broadcaster SRF said on Tuesday. This caused damage to structures, trees and vehicles. The storm “unfortunately caused the death of a person in their fifties following the fall of a building crane”, Neuchâtel local police said in a press release.
Tara Cobham25 July 2023 09:00
Watch: Passenger recounts time in Rhode after Greece wildfires
A passenger recalled his evacuation from Rhodes after arriving back at Gatwick Airport.
Up to 10,000 Britons are estimated to be on the fire-ravaged Greek island, with repatriation flights to rescue holidaymakers landing back in the UK.
Dominic Doggett explained how he “stayed on the office floor” of a hotel, before driving through the night to find other accommodation.
“It was a very unique situation, but luckily we had a hire car there so we were able to drive away,” he explained.
Passenger recounts time in Rhodes as hundreds return to UK after Greece wildfires
A passenger recalled his evacuation from Rhodes after arriving back at Gatwick Airport. Up to 10,000 Britons are estimated to be on the fire-ravaged Greek island, with repatriation flights to rescue holidaymakers landing back in the UK. Dominic Doggett explained how he “stayed on the office floor” of a hotel, before driving through the night to find other accommodation. “It was a very unique situation, but luckily we had a hire car there so we were able to drive away,” he explained.
Tara Cobham25 July 2023 08:40
Human-induced climate crisis responsible for killer heatwaves, scientists say
Human-induced climate change is responsible for the historic heatwaves sweeping the planet from China to the United States, scientists have found.
The research conducted by World Weather Attribution (WWA), which was released on Tuesday, says the record-shattering heat in Europe and the US would have been almost “impossible” in a world without global heating.
The researchers, who analysed records in all three continents, said the likelihood of extreme heat in China, which recently recorded its highest-ever temperature at 52.2C, is now 50 times more likely due to the climate crisis.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar25 July 2023 08:20
Tens of thousands of Britons face cancelled summer holidays
Tens of thousands of Britons face having their holidays cancelled this summer as hotels in fire-ravaged Rhodes could be closed for at least the next couple of weeks, it has been reported.
Around 30,000 tourists have been left in limbo as tour operators are planning for possible further cancellations, according to The Times.
Greece battled to contain wildfires on the island of Rhodes for a seventh day on Tuesday, as hundreds of tourists who had been forced to evacuate in previous days were expected to fly back to their countries.
Some 20,000 people had to leave homes and hotels in Rhodes over the weekend as the inferno that began a week ago spread and reached coastal resorts on the verdant island’s southeast, after charring swathes of land and damaging buildings.
More than 2,000 holidaymakers returned home by plane on Monday, and more repatriation flights were expected on Tuesday. Tour operators also cancelled upcoming trips.
Tara Cobham25 July 2023 08:08
Satellite images show how wildfires spread to engulf large parts of Greek islands
More evacuations were ordered as the week-long wildfire on the Greek resort island of Rhodes tore past defences due to strong winds, leaving local residents in scrambles.
Satellite images revealed the extent of devastation caused by the wildfire which has charred the central part of the island, burning down homes, cars and livestock.
Images from 20 July show smoke billowing from only a small part of the island, whereas the satellite pictures taken just three days later reveal a massive portion of scorched land in the central part of the island.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar25 July 2023 08:00
Ryanair operating ‘full schedule’ to Greece
Ryanair is operating a “full schedule” to wildfire-hit Greece, including the battered island of Rhodes, as evacuation flights continue to bring back Britons.
“Airports remain open so we’re continuing to fly in there,” Neil Sorahan, the carrier’s chief financial officer told Sky News.
“We’ve got a number of customers who are keen to come home, some people still want to do down there so we’ll continue to fly in and out and as long as it’s safe to do so and as long as the airports remain open, we’ll be there.”
Other airlines such as Jet2, TUI UK and Correndon have cancelled flights to Rhodes at least till Friday 28 July.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar25 July 2023 07:40
Watch: Palermo airport shut due to raging wildfire
Palermo airport shut due to raging wildfire
Tara Cobham25 July 2023 07:24