Italy in flames, devastating fires in Abruzzo

Italy in flames, devastating fires in Abruzzo
Italy in flames, devastating fires in Abruzzo

In Abruzzo there is a fire emergency. “There are open fronts in every province and the regional and civil protection machinery is mobilized, President Marsilio is in Pescara, where there are the greatest concerns, and where he is participating in a meeting in the prefecture with the mayors of the territories involved”. Thus the head secretariat of the presidency of the Abruzzo council, Massimo Verrecchia. The Region has asked Rome for means and resources. Dramatic scenes in Pescara for a fire that is devastating the southern area of ​​the city and in particular the Pineta Dannunziana and the nearby hills with three different ignition points. The flames reached the homes and the escape from the beaches: the sparks pushed by the wind have set the palms of the bathing establishments on fire. A disaster of unimaginable proportions. The Dannunziana Reserve of Pescara is also burning. “We have had to evacuate several homes and even bathing establishments. The main opponent is the hot wind. The fire brigade helicopter is trying to limit the damage.” These are the words of the mayor of Pescara Carlo Masci. The flames have moved towards the hill of San Silvestro and Colle Breccia. The situation, they say to the Civil Protection, is “far from under control”.

Over 30 people were transported to the hospital. Some of the people in question, including a girl and two nuns who lived in a structure in the Pineta area, were transported by 118, but most of them reached the hospital independently. In all cases these are people who have reported a mild intoxication after inhaling fumes, but none of them have reported more serious consequences. The Pescara Public Prosecutor’s Office has already opened a file on the very serious fire. Two years ago another serious accident devastated Colle Renazzo, not far away.

Flames also on the Costa dei Trabocchi

The fiery hell on the Costa dei Trabocchi and in Val di Sangro has led the motorway company to close the exits of the Val Di Sangro and Lanciano industrial area toll booths this afternoon. In fact, even the SS 635 Val di Sangro state road is engulfed in flames and the fires risk dangerously approaching several factories, including the French multinational Trigano Van, European leader in campers that mounts on Sevel vans. Several employees from local companies came to support the fire extinguishing activities of the fires in progress, which also threatens to attack a fuel station along the same SS 635, in the territory of Fossacesia (Chieti). As a result of the serious situation, the bus runs of the workers who must reach the Sevel di Atessa (Chieti) are at risk for this evening.

Fires also in the Teramo area

The operations to extinguish the various fires in the Teramo area also continue unabated. At the moment, what is most worrying is the situation in Altavilla, in the Municipality of Montorio, where a team from the Aquila fire brigade is intervening for a forest fire and brushwood and where it was necessary to evacuate the population, consisting of about 60 people. While the Teramo command teams are engaged in numerous interventions in Sant’Omero, in the hamlets of Sardinara and Villa Ripa di Teramo and on the Salinello reclamation in the municipality of Sant’Omero, where a team of firefighters from the command is also operating of Ascoli Piceno.

Always i firefighters managed to avoid the worst in Fontanelle di Atri, where the flames have affected an area between the sports field and the Atrian hamlet and where the fire extinguishing action was particularly difficult as the flames have dangerously approached the inhabited center. Only the work of the operating staff, with the collaboration offered by some farmers who created grooves in the ground to stem the fire, ensured that the houses were not reached by the flames. The fire of brushwood that the firefighters had to face in Mosciano Sant’Angelo, where the flames threatened some buildings and the Teramo-Giulianova railway line. Furthermore, since this morning, the extinguishing of the scrub fire in Piancarani di Campli has continued, where a team of firefighters and several teams of Aib volunteers have been engaged. A Dos (Director of Extinguishing Operations) was sent to Valle Castellana to coordinate the intervention of a Canadair and a team of Aib volunteers to extinguish a chestnut and beech forest.

On the fires in Abruzzo, where the emergency occurred, there is a strong suspicion that there is the willful matrix: the police are already investigating in this regard after being affected by those involved in the fight, in particular firefighters and civil protection. In particular, according to what has been learned from regional sources, in the fire that developed in Casalbordino (Chieti) it emerged that the flames spread every 700-800 meters, a sign that the hand of an arsonist could have prepared the grafts. On this facts, in particular, the carabinieri are investigating.

The emergency in Italy

And throughout Italy it is still a day of strong commitment for the crews of Canadair and helicopters of the State Air Fleet, coordinated by the Department of Civil Protection, engaged non-stop from the first light of the day in the operations of extinguishing the numerous forest fires for which air support to the operations carried out by the ground crews was essential. According to the data available at 18.00, 43 requests for air rescue received by the Unified Air Operations Center (AOC) of the Department, of which 10 from Sicily, 8 from Calabria, 7 from Lazio, 5 from Abruzzo, 5 from Puglia, 3 from Basilicata, 2 from Molise and one each from Campania, Marche and Sardinia. The work carried out by the pilots of the vehicles has made it possible to put under control or extinguish, so far, 13 fires. At the moment, despite the use of the entire fleet, there are 3 fires to which it has not been possible to assign aircraft and on which the operations proceed only by land. The activities of launching water and retardant and extinguishing liquid will continue as long as the light conditions allow safe operation.

Fires across the Mediterranean

And the flames flare up and claim victims all over the Mediterranean, in Greece and especially Turkey, where tourists have been evacuated from the boats of the Coast Guard and civil yachtsmen, who in Bodrum have rescued dozens of bathers threatened by fires and smoke. Today at least 540 people were evacuated from the famous seaside resort, flagship of the Turkish tourist offer. Among them about a hundred Russians, relocated to other hotels, according to the Moscow media.

The images posted on social media are terrifying: in one quoted by the British media, a rescuer in the water is seen filming the flames as they flare up on the beach, “as was possible, they only arrived in five minutes”. No less disturbing is the situation of those bathers immortalized as they watch the helicopters in action on the nearby mountains, almost petrified in the blue waters of the Mediterranean.

On the fifth day of flames in Turkey, the death toll is seven and over 500 people who needed medical attention. The fires, more than 100 outbreaks, were largely quelled, also thanks to the intervention of 13 planes, including those arriving from Ukraine, Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran. To these are added 45 helicopters, 708 tankers and 120 bulldozers.
Nearly 4,800 rescuers and volunteers are still battling the flames, assisted by drones but with operations made much more complex by the strong wind and hellish hot flashes. President Recep Tayyp Erdogan went to Marmaris, one of the affected locations.

And fires are also being fought in Greece: the number of people injured in the front of fire advancing in the northwest of the Peloponnese, in the south of the country not far from Patras, has increased to eight. So far around twenty houses have been destroyed and five villages have been evacuated. Nearly 300 firefighters, with 77 trucks, two firefighting planes and five helicopters, returned to the front lines to try to put out the flames. The main highway connecting Corinth to Patras has been closed to traffic, as has the Rion Antirion bridge which connects the Peloponnese with mainland Greece. The death of a Turkish citizen along the border, “directly caused by the flames” that flared up from Greece near the village of Adasarhanli prompted Ankara to an official diplomatic note delivered directly into the hands of the Athens appointee.

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