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Home ยป British Family Spend Night On School Floor After Rhodes Wildfire Evacuation Order

British Family Spend Night On School Floor After Rhodes Wildfire Evacuation Order

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A British family spent a night sleeping on the floor of a school after being evacuated from a wildfire on the Greek island of Rhodes.

The Bowrey family were ordered to leave their rented villa near Lindos overnight on Saturday after receiving an emergency alert on their phones.

Up to 19,000 tourists and locals have been evacuated across Rhodes due to the raging wildfire.

The fire started in the mountainous centre of the island, but with strong winds and bone dry conditions has spread rapidly east towards villages and seaside resorts.

Weather – latest: Largest ever evacuation from Greece over wildfires in Rhodes

After receiving an evacuation alert late last night, the Bowrey family rushed in a minivan to an evacuation point which had been set up at a school, where they and hundreds of others spent the night.

Finlay, 23, who was holidaying with his parents having recently attended his COVID-delayed graduation, said he managed “45 minutes” of sleep on the floor.

“I just had my Crocs and a pillow,” he told Sky News.

Image: The school was turned into an evacuation point due to wildfires

“There were hundreds of people there. There were a few mattresses, but they were saved for babies and some of the older people.

“People came and brought us water and snacks. They were doing what they could to help everyone.”

“They were real angels – we were so grateful to them for that,” his mother, Victoria, added.

“It felt well-prepared – like they had been training for this situation.”

Speaking about the evacuation, she said: “As we were driving to the evacuation point, we could see the smoke and there was a red hue in the distance.

Image: The Bowrey family were renting a villa near Lindos when they were told to evacuate “It looked like the whole island was on fire.”

The family, who arrived on Rhodes last weekend, are due to fly back home to Dorset on Monday.

But they face the possibility of delays, as hundreds of others tourists attempt to leave the island.

‘We feel like caged animals’

Another holidaymaker, Ben Wright, told Sky News how he had been stuck at Rhodes Airport for 18 hours after his flight home was delayed amid the disruption.

“We were forced to sleep on the airport floor as easyJet did not provide us with any accommodation,” he said.

“We have been stuck here for 18 hours and easyJet has continued to delay our flight to Gatwick and have provided a different reason each time.

Image: Families spend the night on the floor of Rhodes Airport. Pic: Ben Wright “Lots of people have come straight from beaches and evacuated from burning hotels. We are a mix of people who have been evacuated and other tourists like us.

“We feel like caged animals.”

He said that passengers have been told that a plane is being flown out to pick them up this afternoon, but that it may not be big enough to take all of those currently at the airport.

Read more:

Rhodes wildfires: What rights do holidaymakers have?

British tourist says trying to escape flames ‘was like the end of the world’

The Greek government says a total of 19,000 people have been evacuated – 16,000 by land and 3,000 by sea – in what it has described as the “largest ever” wildfire evacuation in Greece’s history.

A number of locations on the east of the island have been evacuated, including three seaside resorts.

Around 2,000 tourists have been evacuated from Kiotari and Lardos on the island’s south east coast.

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Wildfire evacuee ‘lost everything’ last night An alert is also in place for Lindos, a town popular with tourists and famed for its hilltop acropolis which has its roots back as far as 300BC, as well as the villages of Massari, Malonas, Charaki.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is urging Britons on the island to follow the advice of Greek emergency services and to contact the consulate for advice on leaving Rhodes.