Greek Fires

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mingshey
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Greek Fires

Post by mingshey » Mon Aug 27, 2007 4:38 am

I hope our Greek friends safe from the fires. They say in the news that it's possibly started by arson, probably for detouring the law forbidding developments in the forest area.

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GlottalGreekGeek
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Post by GlottalGreekGeek » Mon Aug 27, 2007 5:39 am

Horrible.

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Post by Amadeus » Mon Aug 27, 2007 9:53 pm

Irene! Are you still with us? :o
Lisa: Relax?! I can't relax! Nor can I yield, relent, or... Only two synonyms? Oh my God! I'm losing my perspicacity! Aaaaa!

Homer: Well it's always in the last place you look.

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Post by CanadianGirl » Tue Aug 28, 2007 8:18 pm

I first heard the news a few days ago & didn't realize how bad the situation is. For people who love Greece (and I assume everybody here does) this is a nightmare. Greece isn't a big country and the resources are limited, also the forest areas, beautiful as they are, are limited. So the loss to the country's resources, and the grim impact on the landscape, is a disaster. Add the large loss of lives and it's a multi-dimensional disaster. If any members are Greek, or have relatives in Greece, please post any personal information you might have. I hope the Greek government will post information soon about how to help the victims and help to restore the landscape. Yahoo News has a batch of photos that show just how bad the situation is-one of them shows a fire raging inside the stadium at Olympia-horrible. They also have an aerial view of the whole country, which would be a beautiful shot under normal conditions. Now though, there are HUGE plumes of smoke rising up into the atmosphere, esp. from the Peloponnese and even Euboia. It's easy for us "Philhellenes" to be sentimental about Greece-personally I think Greece is the school of the world-but this is grimly, grimly serious.
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Post by IreneY » Wed Aug 29, 2007 6:20 am

Still here :) thanks for the interest everyone.

I am personally living in the city and guess what? Piraeus and Athens don't really have any trees :( so there was no fear for the capital really.

There's not a single Greek who is not torn between grief and rage though for what has happened. When the government pats itself on the back for saving the marbles and museum in Ancient Olympia and say that hey, you come back in two years or so and Kronos hill is going to be green again how are we supposed to feel? Add some extra shame to the grief and rage. On behalf of my fellow Greeks I apologise for the stupidity that let any fire, no matter what the conditions (and we are talking about a veritable hell in both Peloponissos and Euboia; My parents, across Euboia and very near Oropos could only look across at the smoke and flames, sweep the ashes blowing constantly from across the sea and balefully look at the red sun) threaten a legacy belonging to everyone in the world.

Two of the nicest parts of Greece have been destroyed and the number of people that have lost everything (and about 65 even lost their lives!) is staggering.

And all the politicians, since we have elections on the 16th of September, πε?ί άλλων τυ?βάζουν and only care about using the catastrophy for political reasons. Sad, sad, sad. I think we skipped some chapters of history and jumped straight to the demagogues :(

Anyway, I better not go on since I am not calm enough to acurately portray the tragedy Greece has suffered.

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Post by Bert » Wed Aug 29, 2007 7:03 am

IreneY wrote:Still here :) thanks for the interest everyone.
Phew...It took a while to answer so I was a little concerned.

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Post by mingshey » Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:51 pm

The news photo a NASA satellite took shows the horrible situation from above the area. It's taken a few days ago.

(same pictures, just different sizes)

http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/imag ... 07_1km.jpg (small)
http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/imag ... 7_500m.jpg (large)
http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/imag ... 7_250m.jpg (beware, it's H-U-G-E.)

It shows the fire is not like an occasional wildfire, but a global disaster.
The smoke from Peloponnesos fire is just horrible.
Though IreneY says Athens is too barren to catch the fire, the smoke from Euboea fire passes right over Athens and I cannot figure out how dreadful it would be to see the smoke covering the whole sky.

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Post by Amadeus » Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:40 pm

Glad you are still alive, Irene!

Here's a link for updated images of the fires (it seems the worst is over):
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6968048.stm
Lisa: Relax?! I can't relax! Nor can I yield, relent, or... Only two synonyms? Oh my God! I'm losing my perspicacity! Aaaaa!

Homer: Well it's always in the last place you look.

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Post by CanadianGirl » Wed Aug 29, 2007 10:45 pm

Irene: Please keep us posted on details. Every Spring, I count my money to see if I can afford a ticket to Athens (Usually No- only twice so far) & one of the chief attractions for me (right after archaeology) is doing some hiking in the mountains. I have been wanting to do some exploring in the Peloponnese for years & now I'm wondering how bad the damage is to the landscape there. If you hear of an appeal from the government for donations for the victims and/or replacing the damage to the forests, please let us know. BTW, climbing up the Hill of Kronos has been one of my dreams for years, (never had time before) & it's been burned? My God-How much worse can it get! BTW II, I showd the aerial photo (of the plumes of smoke)to a friend of my Mom's, originally from Kea, & she cried-I felt like joining her. Maybe God or Zeus or SOMEBODY will send rain. Anyway-you guys are in our thoughts. Excuse my emotion-Greece (with all her faults)- is one of the things I get emotional about. Keep us posted.
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Post by IreneY » Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:59 pm

Well, I have no idea how you can give money on-line but a, my warmest thanks for the interest and b, the good news is that all of Greece has mobilised and it looks like a lot is going to be done soon. There are parts of Peloponese that will not be the same for decades but, from what I understand, the area around Olympia is going to be restored very, very soon (a quite rich buisnessman called Kyriakou, among other things Chairman of the Greek Olympic Committee, says that he too is going to pay a large sum for the restoration of the place; I just hope he won't be allowed to also bit a modern stadium nearby as he wanted-wants for a while; I just think it's out of place to have one there) . I heard an expert saying that it's 1/3 of the trees in Kronios hill that have been completely burnt and need to be uprooted and replaced. Most of the rest have to be trimmed by experts and will soon look fine.
Although it may seem "unpatriotic" to say so however, I wouldn't advise anyone visiting Greece having as his/her main goal to visit Olympia to do so next year. Give it a year or two unless of course such a visit is only a part of a more general tour. Unless of course the rest of the tour is around some parts of Peloponese (I heard that the temple of Apollo in Figalia also got very nearly singed!)

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Post by Arvid » Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:00 pm


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Post by CanadianGirl » Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:37 pm

Irene-By Figalia, do you mean the temple at Bassae? That is another place I've dreamed of seeing for years-this is just too much!! Have you heard anything about Pylos, I mean the site and that area of Messenia? Messenia & Nestor's place is another area I really, really want to see & some of the smoke clouds seemed to be coming from there. Most of all though, has Delphi had any damage at all?
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Post by IreneY » Thu Sep 06, 2007 4:17 pm

Oh dear! I do feel bad for being the messanger of such sad news. Nothing at all has even come close the other two sites so no worries. As for Olympia and Bassae (sorry for the Figalia, I didn't think before typing) well, the monuments themselves escaped the fire (and the new Museum of Olympia. The only reason I advised against visiting them that soon is that it doesn't look all that nice does it, when everything around is charred.
By the way, the temple of Apollo in Bassae is a bit disappointing to watch when approaching the site since it is all under a huge cover (the place where it is built means that letting it "breathe" in the open air any longer will cause its destruction by the elements much quicker) it is very well worth visiting. Alas, one of the parts I enjoyed more was the trip up to that lonely temple in the middle of nowhere. I'm afraid that right now such a trip would be downright depressing.

Acropolis too is a bit of a dissapointment right now since massive restoration works are in place and everything but Erechtheion (sp?) which is already restored is covered by scaffolding really. Plus, the new Museum has not opened its doors yet.

All in all, if your reason for visiting Greece is to see some of the most known monuments of South Greece, mainland, I'd say you'd better wait a wee bit. Delphi is as wonderful as ever, Pylos is intact and most of the others too, but two of the most known sites (and one less known to people, Bassae) are not in their best right now.

Oh, by the way, the Germans (I think, to be precise, that we are talking about Munich) have offered to provide much help in restoring Olympia. That was a huge relief! Apart from any monetary reason (we are not all that rich after all and this catastrophy, apart from everything else, has and will cost us dearly) it's good to know that some people who have the knowhow and have no small minded, petty political and other agendas will have a hand in this. I mean the leader of a big political party talks about building a theme park there, another about a huge hotel complex! Some want to turn Olympia into a Greek Disneyland I think. For shame!

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Thanks for the up-date

Post by CanadianGirl » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:56 pm

Irene: Well thanks for the up-date. It still sounds like a very bad dream but I'm sure, it's all too real for those of you who are there. It would be great if the re-seeding can get well under way this Fall, and then you guys get some nice rain this winter. By the way "Odyssey" magazine (I've seen it around, don't think I'ver ever read it) has info on how to make donations. How about this: If everybody who reads this thread will get off an e-mail to your local representative & ask what your government is doing, it might start something. And by the way, i notice Poseidon Cruises (?) has already discounted their Fall cruises to Greece-lot of cancellations no doubt-& you know-this will hurt another way-a LOT of people (tourists) will not go this Fall & next year , which will hurt financially. Personally if I had the chance to go to Greece again, I would go in the middle of an earthquake, typhoon, whatever. Let's hope Greece doesn't lose too much through lack of tourism-I know that would really hurt.
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