Sunday, August 26, 2007
Ancient Olympia on fire
Writing in the Sunday Vima, the columnist Rihardos Someritis summed up the mood: "We had a beautiful country but we are increasingly losing it to fires, rubbish and the illegal buildings [built on land cleared by blazes].
"Blazes around the outskirts of Athens, which woke up on Sunday to flurries of ash, and halted the progress of fires near the city of ancient Olympia on the Peloponnese, where the first Olympic Games were played in 776 B.C.
The city itself still contains the ruins of the old stadium and several pagan temples, including one to the goddess Hera.
'All of the Peloponnese is destroyed. This is an environmental disaster. All down to the sea, it’s destroyed.”
photo by john kolesidis
The charred remains of a mother holding her child in her arms; people burned alive in cars as they tried to flee; panic-stricken villagers trapped in flame-encircled homes; and thousands evacuated to beaches - these were among the scenes being witnessed in Greece as some of the worst wildfires in living memory ravaged the country.