Croatia and Montenegro are having a hard time extinguishing wildfires which started few days ago and have reached the outskirts of coastal cities. Firefighters are battling with flames and urging other towns and communities to come to their aid.
Local media reported that the blaze, which started shortly after midnight, has spread across 20 km and first threatened the villages of Srinjine, Sitno Gornje and Sitno Donje. One death has been reported, although it was not clear whether the cause was a heart attack or smoke inhalation.
By the evening hours the blaze had reached eastern suburbs of Split. Some parts of the city were without water or electricity. Visitors were asked to leave two shopping malls as the smoke entered ventilation systems. The fire has also reached the city’s waste dumping site.
Authorities prepared places for some 250 people inside a Split sports hall in case there were evacuations. Citizens were warned not to go near petrol stations threatened by fire on some roads approaching Split.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said that if necessary Croatia might consider asking for help from its European Union partners.
The neighboring country of Montenegro is also struggling to contain its portion of wildfires, which were fueled by hot weather and strong winds, which helped them spread more quickly than previously anticipated.
Civilians are not the only ones in danger, but emergency crews as well. A recently released amateur video publicized in Montenegrin media shows several fire crews trying to make it through a dense wall of smoke and fire, passing just inches by flames.
Montenegrin state TV says the government has asked NATO to send two firefighting planes to help contain raging wildfires in the Adriatic country. The report said the Western military alliance is checking which member country could provide the planes.
Wildfires have engulfed the Lustica peninsula amid strong winds and dry weather. More than 100 people have evacuated the areas around the coastal town of Tivat. Smaller fires also have been reported throughout the coast.
And while Croatia and Montenegro are hoping for some rainy days, many Greeks are fed up with it. Due to heavy rainfall and harsh storms, several towns in north Greece have been flooded and paralyzed, with many reporting minor to medium damage done to their homes, vehicles and fields.
A large number of inhabited localities suffered as a result of heavy rains on the Greek peninsula of Halkidiki. Most went to the municipality of Sithonia, where in some places within 18 hours 180 mm of precipitation fell (the norm of precipitation for the whole of July in Moscow is 93 mm).
Serious damage was inflicted on the infrastructure of the peninsula, especially roads, private homes and hotels. The damage from the elements has yet to be estimated in terms of money.