KEY POINTS
  • A wildfire which has raged on the Greek island of Rhodes for six days forced thousands of tourists and island residents to shelter in schools and indoor stadiums on Sunday after they were evacuated from coastal villages and resorts.
  • Coastguard vessels and dozens of private boats carried more than 2,000 tourists from beaches on Saturday after the wildfire was fanned by strong winds and rekindled along the southeastern part of island popular for beaches and ancient ruins.
  • "We have between 4,000 and 5,000 people now accommodated at different structures," Thanasis Virinis, a vice mayor of Rhodes told Mega television on Sunday,.
A firefighter helicopter drops water as teams conduct extinguishing works to control wildfires across Greece's Rhodes island on July 22, 2023.

Thousands of tourists and residents fleeing wildfires on the Greek island of Rhodes took refuge in schools and shelters on Sunday, with many evacuated on private boats as flames threatened resorts and coastal villages.

Thousands spent the night on beaches and streets during what Greece said was its biggest safe transport of residents and tourists in emergency conditions.