The evacuation of patients at the Alexandroupolis General Hospital began shortly before 22:00 on Monday, due to a large fire approaching the northern Greek city.
Preparations for possible evacuation had been announced earlier by the Fire Brigade spokesperson Yiannis Artopios during a briefing. Patients were evacuated with ambulances provided by the Health ministry and the help of a large police force stationed in the region for the purpose.
Two separate messages of the 112 emergency service had been issued to residents of Alexandroupolis, a major port and energy hub, alerting them to heavy smoke from fires in the region and ordering them to stay indoors with shut doors and windows.
In the forest fire that broke out initially early in the morning of Monday at the Melia area of Alexandroupolis, there are 214 Fire Brigade staff with 50 fire trucks, 11 ground teams, and occasional help from aerial means during daylight hours. Also assisting are police officers, volunteers, and local water trucks and large machinery.
Heading to the area will be Cypriot and Romanian forces requested by Greece through the RescEU natural catastrophe mechanism. Cyprus sent 2 Air Tractor aircraft that will begin operations with daylight, and Romania is sending 56 firefighters with 10 fire trucks expected before midnight.