Seahorse population in northern Greece thrills experts

admin   •   August 8, 2018   •   2639

A seahorse is wrapped on a diver’s finger during a dive in the village of Stratoni near Chalkidiki, Greece via REUTERS/Idyli Tsakiri

Experts in the marine community are in fact fascinated by the accumulation of a large population of seahorses in a remote gulf in the Chalkidiki peninsula in north-eastern Greece, an unusual find for a protected species ravaged by overfishing throughout the Mediterranean Sea.

Although seahorses exist in Greece’s seas, scientists say it is unique that there is a stable and continued presence in this particular area, especially since the environment could be potentially considered quite hostile for seahorses. The seabed is barren and there is not enough abundant plant life for the seahorses to latch on to and hide from their enemies. There is however ample food in the area. Seahorses feed on plankton and mobile benthic organisms.

“One colony stays in the same place when in neighboring regions they are gone. In one small islet, a group perseveres, lives and thrives. It’s like the last of the Mohicans,” says Costas Dounas, Research Director at the Hellenic Center for Marine Research’s (HCMR) Institute of Marine Biology, who has co-operated with commercial diver Vasilis Mentogiannis. — Reuters

 

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Smoke blankets Athens from wildfire on Evia island

Robie de Guzman   •   August 13, 2019

A large wildfire on Greece’s Evia island on Tuesday (August 13) fanned by strong winds blanketed the capital Athens some 110 kilometers (70 miles) away.

The fire, which generated thick smoke, destroyed tracts of forest on Evia, firefighters said, as authorities prepared to evacuate two villages potentially in the path of the flames.

Wildfires raged uncontrolled in at least four other Greek regions, and the fire brigade said it had been called to put out 182 fires in the last three days.

More than 120 firemen, aided by helicopters and other aircraft, battled the blaze on Evia, the country’s second-largest island, where a monastery had already been evacuated.

No fatalities had been reported, and the winds were expected to subside in the evening, a fire brigade official said.

Greece often faces wildfires during its dry summer months, and authorities have warned of the high risk of blazes this week.

Last year a wildfire killed 100 people in the seaside town of Mati near Athens, and in 2007 devastating fires killed 65, scorched thousands of hectares of forest and farmland and threatened archaeological sites. (REUTERS)

(Production: Vasilis Stogiannis, Phoebe Fronista)

Fire, torrential rain batter Greece, leave 7 dead

Robie de Guzman   •   July 12, 2019

Aircraft putting out fire, ruined stuff, damaged cars & scattered belongings | Courtesy : Reuters

At least five fires have southern Greece alight on Wednesday afternoon due to high temperatures and gale force winds, while at the same time a strong storm hit northern Greece leaving seven people dead, dozens injured and a fisherman missing, as well as losses or damages to properties.

On Wednesday afternoon, at least five fires triggered either by high temperatures or gale force winds swept across the Peloponnese Peninsula, Attica Peninsula, Lamia Bay, and Evia Peninsula.

The disasters were finally controlled before night fell due to the joint efforts of firefighters on the ground and planes in the air.

However, in northern Greece, another extreme weather phenomenon took the baton and threatened people in the north.

The extreme weather caused seven people, six of whom confirmed as tourists from Russia, Czech and Romania on vacation in the country, dead and the unidentified victim is said likely to be a local fisherman. The storm darkened the doorstep of the Chalkidiki Peninsula in northern Greece, and the country’s second largest city Thessaloniki.

“The grill and the iron plate for the barbecue were blown off there. The pavilion there also fell down. The cars were crushed,” said Despoina, a resident in Chalkidiki.

The damages brought by the first freak storm in 30 years was huge, though it only lasted half an hour.

“We have been living here for 25 years, but we have never seen this,” said Despoina.

The power supply in the northern coastal areas and trains running between Thesalloniki and Alexandroupoli, another coastal city in the north, were cut off.

The 22 injured people have been sent to a local hospital, with nine of them suffering fractures to varying degrees. (REUTERS)

Death toll from cold front in Greece rises to three

admin   •   January 7, 2019


A snow scenery in Athens, Greece on January 6, 2019 | Reuters

The death toll from the cold front which has been battering Greece in the first days of the new year rose to three on Sunday, local authorities said.

Firemen retrieved the bodies of two men, aged 66 and 67, at the outskirts of Keratea town, 30 km southeast of Athens, according to a Fire Brigade announcement.

On Saturday, search squads also found the body of a 66-year-old woman, one of the victims’ spouse.

They were all riding a car when a heavy storm hit the area on Thursday.

As the cold front named “Sophia”, which was sweeping across Greece from Tuesday bringing snowfall and downpour in many parts of the country, receded on Sunday, Greece’s national weather service warned that a new low pressure weather system was due to hit the country on Monday evening.

“Telemachos”, as meteorologists have named the new cold front, was forecast to bring snowfall in Athens and southern Greece, after “Sophia” caused travel disruptions in the northern and central regions of the country.

The lowest temperature of minus 19 Celsius degree was recorded on Sunday at Florina town in northern Greece. — Reuters

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