Parts of Corfu evacuated as wildfires hit second Greek island

Joe Coshan looks at how holidaymakers on Greek islands have been impacted by wildfires

Corfu has become the second Greek island to see people rescued from wildfires after thousands were evacuated from the island Rhodes.

The situation on Corfu is currently not thought to be as dangerous as it is in Rhodes, where 19,000 people have been evacuated, but authorities have ordered the precautionary evacuation of five small settlements.

People in the settlements of Santa, Megoula, Porta, Palia Perithia and Sinies have been ordered to leave.

Corfu is a holiday destination popular among Britons and people hoping to take summer breaks there in the coming days will be worried their trips will meet the same fate as the thousands planned in Rhodes which have now been cancelled due to the fires.

Jet2 Holidays cancelled all flights to Rhodes until July 30 and said it would send empty planes to bring stranded Britons home. Tui said it would cancel all flights and holidays until Tuesday.

Thomas Cook later announced it had cancelled all holidays to Kiotari and Lardos – the areas of the island most at risk – until July 31 and would be in touch with customers to arrange “swift refunds”.

EasyJet has cancelled package holidays departing up to and including Tuesday and will operate two repatriation flights on Monday and a third on Tuesday to bring British holidaymakers back to London Gatwick Airport.

Greece's Ministry of Climate Change and Civil Protection said the rescue mission in Rhodes was "the largest evacuation from a wildfire in the country".

Some 16,000 were evacuated by land and 3,000 by sea, according to local officials.

No casualties have yet been reported, although six people were briefly hospitalised with respiratory problems.

Nick Stafford told ITV News of the ordeal suffered by him and his family during their holiday at the Gennadi Grand resort in Rhodes, where he could see flames on the hills in the distance from the poolside.

He said he and his two children, aged seven and 11, were forced to walk miles in search of refuge after being told to leave the hotel on Saturday evening.

A kind local saw them and gave them a lift to another hotel where they say "every inch" of space is taken up by people looking for safety after being evicted from their hotels.

Mr Stafford told ITV News: "We're bearing up pretty well in the circumstances, I think the main issue we've got is frustration.

"There's a lack of knowledge of what we should or shouldn't be doing, everything feels very rushed or very last minute without any kind of planning and that's the main worry because we've never been sure if we're 100% safe or not. Even now.

"We've been lucky in some respects, because we were in an area that wasn't as badly hit as some others - we weren't in the heart of the fire - but nevertheless we were evacuated at 10pm last night and haven't been given any information about what to do from there."

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