First-person footage of flames engulfing a neighborhood shows just how devastating the wildfires in Greece are.
A man trying to save his friend’s cat caught the wildfire on video as it burned through the trees surrounding his home. Within the video’s short span of time, just three-and-a-half minutes, the fire approaches and starts to consume the house.
According to an English-language version of a local paper, the Cyprus Times, the person who recorded the video is safe.
The severe wildfires near Athens has claimed 91 lives over the past week, the Associated Press says. A number of victims drowned in the sea while trying to flee the fire.
According to the Centre for the Research on Epidemiology of Disasters in Brussels, this is the deadliest wildfire Europe has seen since 1900. The fire started on July 23 in Mati, a small village just outside of Athens, and spread without warning. Since then, it’s ravaged the coast and prompted Greece to ask for aid from the European Union.
During a Sunday memorial service at the local church in Mati, the Holy Synod — a ruling body of bishops in the Greek Orthodox Church — said in a letter that “everyone bears responsibility for protecting the environment from haphazard development.”
The unprecedented heat waves scorching Europe have been boosted by climate change. According to NOAA, Greece is experiencing one of its hottest years on record. Thanks to a lack of steady rainfall, heavy winds, and extremely dry forests, Greece’s “tinderbox conditions” make wildfires almost inevitable.
Rising temperatures are an international issue — although we’re just over halfway through 2018, global warming is already apparent.