Massive wildfires in Greece have destroyed “almost the entire northern part” of the island of Evia.
Evacuations are continuing on the Greek island, with scenes there likened to a 'disaster movie'.
Several thousand people have been evacuated from their homes after nearly a week of uncontrolled wildfires.
Haunting photos and videos shared online showed locals and tourists leaving via ferries as massive flames in the distance illuminated the area.
Wildfires have also broken out north of Athens, killing a volunteer, although a major fire there now appears to have been brought under control.
It comes amid an extreme heatwave in Greece, with temperatures reaching as high as 45C in some areas - the most severe heat recorded in the area in three decades.
Elena Becatoros, Associated Press bureau chief for southeast Europe, spoke to Newstalk Breakfast about the scale of the Greek fires.
She explained: “There have been dozens of fires over the past week… there have been several that have become absolutely massive.
“The fire on Evia has been burning since the 3rd August, and it shows no sign of abating still.
“Forest fires are unfortunately a fact of life, especially in a country that's as hot and dry during the summer as Greece is… but the fire in Evia, in particular, has been very, very large.
"It has destroyed such a massive percentage of the island… there still isn't an accounting of how much exactly has been burnt, but almost the entire northern part of the island is gone.
“Greek officials have said very clearly this is part of the consequences of climate change. It was the worst [heatwave] by far in 30 years.”
She noted the fires have been devastating for the local economy, as the fire hit in the middle of the tourist season - and in an economy that just started to recover from the impact of the pandemic.
She said: “A lot of businesses have gone up in smoke… it is devastating for both the local economy and the national economy.”
Several European and Middle Eastern countries have sent firefighting teams and resources to the area.
While that has made an impact, Ms Becatoros said it looks like even more resources will be needed to bring the fires under control.
Serious fires have also been burning out of control near the southern coast of Turkey, with eight people killed in the past ten days.
The fires are the latest extreme weather events in Europe this summer, after severe flooding in Germany, Belgium and other parts of the continent left more than 200 people dead.
A major UN climate change report being published today is expected to warn of more extreme weather events if radical action isn’t taken to halt global warming.