I spot George Kyriakopolous sitting in his automobile, the door open to blackened environment and smouldering earth.
To his left is his home. To the suitable, the one owned by his 95-year-old mom and 98-year-old father. His dad and mom’ property is burned past restore. His personal home is badly broken.
George is a person in shock. He can not imagine what he’s seeing. Twenty 4 hours earlier he was watching a wildfire at what appeared like a distance. In 10 minutes, he says, the fireplace was upon them within the village of Varympompi, north of Athens.
He tells me they needed to drive by way of the flames to get out. He is likely one of the few residents right here who’ve made it again to test on their properties.
George tells me: “If my mom noticed this she would cry. She would cry.”
And I feel any of us would. Properties which have been lived in and cherished for years have been destroyed in minutes. Land cultivated by way of laborious work, now scorched.
And this scene is repeated in avenue after avenue on this village the place lots of have been pressured to go away as one of many largest wildfires in Greece this week penetrated Varympompi. Most who dwell right here haven’t been allowed to return.
The realm continues to be considered extraordinarily harmful and most residents can solely watch the skies from the place planes and helicopters dump huge containers of water on the realm and hope issues will probably be okay.
Sadly for a lot of of them that won’t be the case. Coming again right here will probably be traumatising. It actually has been for Rula Mantis who reveals us across the charred stays of the fruit vegetable retailer she runs together with her boyfriend. A lot of it’s destroyed and he or she wonders how they are going to ever get well.
She’s offended the property was allowed to burn however understands hearth crews confronted unattainable stress.
She tells me: “It’s extremely laborious. It is some huge cash you need to spend to make this from the start. You may’t save something. As you possibly can see, there’s nothing left.”
The large flames which lit up the evening sky right here when the fireplace reached its peak could have quelled now however the hazard for this village is not over. All over the place we drive or stroll in Varympompi the bottom is smouldering.
Smoke threatens to ignite into contemporary flames which on scorched earth might unfold once more. It’s why residents are taking their hearth extinguishers and buckets to douse the place they will.
However they know they’re up towards difficult parts. Temperatures are predicted to stay excessive in Greece within the days to return when all villagers hope for is rain.
In addition they know they face the ache of seeing neighbours and mates return to a village the place there will probably be a lot ache to confront.