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Explosions heard as firefighters battle wildfire near Athens

Firefighters battled a wildfire on Tuesday (August 3) that raged uncontrolled on the outskirts of Athens in Greece's worst heatwave in over 30 years.


More than 300 firefighters with 35 vehicles and 10 aircraft battled the blaze in a densely vegetated area in the suburb of Varympopi, on the lower slopes of Mount Parnitha, next to the national highway.


Explosions coming from with the flames could be heard, as volunteer firefighters sprayed water on the wall of fire.


In Athens, the power grid operator IPTO said the fire had damaged parts of the grid, posing a major risk to the electricity supply in parts of the metropolitan region.


The fire also disrupted train services and forced authorities to seal off part of the highway. An unknown number of homes and othjer buildings were damaged.

Temperatures of more than 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) and high winds have fanned more than 100 wildfires in different areas of Greece in recent days.


On Tuesday, some places recorded temperatures of over 46 Celsius (115 Fahrenheit).


Europe is grappling with a summer of extreme weather, from heavy flooding in the north to the severe heatwaves and fires that have engulfed several areas in the Mediterranean region.


(Production: Giorgos Moutafis, Stamos Prousalis, Phoebe Fronista)