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Forest fire sweeps into Athens

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Forest fire sweeps into Athens

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A huge forest fire is sweeping through northern parts of Athens, destroying homes and forcing residents to flee. Gale-force winds have hampered efforts to control the flames and accelerated the fire’s progress down the Penteli mountain.

For an hour and a half at lunchtime, water-bomber airplanes were grounded because of the winds, allowing the fire to get out of control.

Residents of the Melisia, Vrilisia and Penteli neighbourhoods were evacuated and at least ten people were sent to hospital suffering from breathing problems.

There were also repeated power blackouts.

This year Greece has witnessed some of the worst fires in decades, caused by high temperatures, drought and arson.