Wildfire rages on Greece’s Crete island, settlements evacuated

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - ATHENS, April 6 — A wildfire raged out of control on the Greek island of Crete today, with authorities ordering the evacuation of four residential settlements, the fire department said.

Fanned by strong winds, the blaze spread across the slopes of the mountainous forest east of the seaside town of Ierapetra.

Authorities ordered the precautionary evacuation of the Achlia, Galini, Agia Fotia and Mavros Kolimpos settlements, home to around 300 people, as the blaze got close to some homes.

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About 120 firefighters were battling the blaze on the ground, assisted by two helicopters.

Wildfires are common in the Mediterranean nation during the summer months, but the government has said that extremely dry, windy and hot conditions that scientists link to climate change have made them worse in recent years.

Last year, a wildfire burning in north-eastern Greece for 11 days destroyed an area larger than New York City and killed 20 people. — Reuters

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