Wednesday 4 August 2021


There is an apocalyptic atmosphere: a grey cloud hangs over everything, there is no sun, no horizon, a sense of doom pervades everything - this is according to Ken who just came in from his morning walk. I went out on the terrace when I woke up and lasted about a minute: the smell of burning is so intense that I had to go inside immediately, as I know what smoke inhalation does to my asthma.

Image by Yannis Panagopoulos, showing the smoke cloud rising over Athens.

The fire in Varibobi, a suburb in Northern Athens started yesterday at mid-day and quickly spread to neighbouring suburbs.  By the afternoon, as we were being driven to IKEA of all places, we could see the massive cloud rising over Athens and in the course of the afternoon it reached us in the Southern suburbs.

(I could not find out who took this photograph)

More than 500 firefighters spent the night battling the wild fire. Five water-dumping planes and nine helicopters joined the battle at first light, while the army, police, municipal workers and dozens of volunteers have also been mobilised. 'This morning, there's cinders and ash everywhere, dozens of hectares of pine forest have been razed, dozens of houses have been completely destroyed, and thousands of people have been evacuated from the area', according to an eye-witness.

photo by Yannis Liakos

The National Observatory of Athens are advising people to stay indoors.

photo by Yannis Liakos

Even though wild fires have been raging across the countries around the Mediterranean, including serious fires all across Greece, I thought that this time we had been spared in Athens. How wrong I was! As I mentioned in my previous post the climate catastrophe is here with us, now, and unless we, as a world community, change our ways, the future is at best uncertain, and at worst, we are doomed.

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