Greece, devastated by the heat wave

ATHENS, Greece – The heat waves that have hit Greece this month continued to take a deadly toll over the weekend, and authorities reported Sunday the death of an American on a Greek island.

At least five tourists They remain missing throughout Greece.

Authorities said the body of a 55-year-old man from Floral Park, New York, who had been missing on the small island of Mathraki near Corfu since Tuesday, was found on a beach on Sunday.

People sit under an umbrella as a helicopter operates during a forest fire on a beach near the village of Gennadi, on the Aegean island of Rhodes, southeastern Greece. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

This followed the discovery of a man’s body on the island of Samos the previous day.

A Dutch hiker has been missing there for a week, but the body has not yet been identified.

Searches were also underway for the other five tourists who disappeared in Greece amid scorching temperatures this month.

“The problem of missing hikers is not new; we have it every year,” said police spokeswoman Constantina Dimoglidou.

“But this year it seems that more people became disoriented during the heat wave.”

One of the missing was Albert Calibet, 59, a retired police officer with dual French and American citizenship, on the Aegean island of Amorgos.

Calibet had set out on a solo journey on Tuesday morning, Dimoglidou said.

Two French women, aged 73 and 64, also disappeared on another Aegean island, Sikinos; and an Israeli couple in the Vytina area on the peninsula Peloponnese,authorities said.

The announcements came just days after the remains of Michael Mosley, a British medical journalist and documentary filmmaker, were found on the island of Symi after he failed to return from a hike.

At least three other tourists died this month while hiking in extreme heat.

Greece has experienced two consecutive heat waves in the last two weeks, with temperatures exceeding 38 degrees Celsius, in many parts of the country.

However, while authorities often issue warnings to older people and people with health problems to stay home and hydrated on days when extreme heat is forecast, these are guidelines rather than rules, and there are no restrictions for activities such as hiking.

The body of the Long Island man, whose name was not released, was found Sunday afternoon on a small beach near a harbor on the western side of Mathraki, a small island of only a couple hundred residents, the county said. vice mayor of the island, Spyros Argyros. , saying.

“It was found among the waves of the beach in a place that had already been searched, so it seems that it was dragged out of the sea in the last 24 hours,” Argyros said.

The man was last seen on Tuesday night and had shared a drink with two British women who dropped him off at their rented house in their car, the deputy mayor said.

A friend alerted police Thursday after finding the door to the home open, with the lights and air conditioning on. The body will be taken to Corfu for an autopsy to determine the cause of death, Argyros said.

The body will be taken to Corfu for an autopsy to determine the cause of death, Argyros said.

Calibet, the retired police officer, had been visiting Amorgos for years and knew its hiking routes well, according to local officials, who believe he could have opted for a more challenging route.

The hike he told his friends he planned to take was a 12-mile trail south to Katapola, an established route for walkers.

“I had traveled that route many times,” said Calliope Despotidi, deputy mayor of Amorgos.

“You may have chosen to take a harder path and perhaps overestimated your abilities. “The heat has been intense.”

A few hours after leaving the village of Aegiali in the north of the island, Calibet stopped at a store to buy water and other supplies, Despotidi said, but “after that, there was no sign of him.”

He said helicopters, drones and coast guard boats had scoured the island searching for him since Tuesday afternoon.

The body of the man found in Samos was discovered in a stream by a Greek fire service drone.

A 74-year-old Dutch hiker has been missing on the island since last Sunday.

Dimitris Kalaitzis, a member of the local chapter of the Hellenic Rescue Team, described the foot route the Dutchman is believed to have taken in southwest Samos as “arduous.” Kalaitzis said that, according to the man’s wife, he only had a small bottle of water when he went out for a walk.

Dimoglidou said Wednesday that the Dutch tourist’s cell phone was turned off.

The mayor of Sikinos, Vassilis Marakis, told Greek television on Saturday that the search for the two French women had begun on Friday.

“Yesterday they went for a walk in the heat,” he said, “and now we can’t find them.”

Marakis, who was participating in the search, told Greek television on Saturday that one had her cell phone turned off and the other did not.

One of the women sent a text message to the owner of the room where she was staying at 8:24 a.m. on Friday saying:

“I fell. “I don’t feel good,” Marakis said.

Vacation

The body of British medical journalist Mosley, 67, was found on June 9 on rocks next to a beach in Agia Marina, on the island of Symi, after a five-day search.

His wife, Clare Bailey, had reported him missing a day after the couple arrived for a week’s stay, according to the police spokesman.

He had been out walking through what local officials described as “rough terrain” while temperatures hovered around 35 degrees.

On Friday, an 80-year-old Belgian man walking with a group died near the ancient site of Lato in eastern Crete, according to the police spokesman.

Two other tourists, a French woman in her 70s and a Dutch man, also in his 70s, also died earlier this month during hikes in different parts of Crete, Dimoglidou said.

As the latest heat wave peaked on Wednesday and Thursday, authorities closed many schools in Athens and visiting hours were restricted at several ancient sites, including the Acropolisthe most popular in Greece.

The Acropolis resumed regular visiting hours on Friday as temperatures dropped slightly, but restrictions remained in place for the ancient site of Knossos in Crete, where temperatures were forecast to reach 40 degrees Celsius or 104 Fahrenheit.

Greece’s Culture Ministry said sites in Crete would close from 1pm to 5pm if temperatures exceed 40 degrees Celsius.

By Editor

Leave a Reply