I took these photos on the terrible day of Monday July 23rd. On Sunday and Monday the temperatures soared to 40 degrees Celsius. On Monday the howling winds and news of a fire outside of Athens had me worried. I went to the rooftop and I could see some smoke coming from Kineta (30 miles west of Athens) where firefighters were fighting a huge blaze. It was all over the news. Directly across me I could see a huge plume of smoke billowing from Mt Penteli.The whole atmosphere was eerie.. like it was doomsday. These strong winds pushed the flames from the mountain of Penteli down to the seaside resort of Mati and to the port of Rafina. That night the fire would claim the lives of 91people (as of today), with 88 with critical injuries and 25 people still missing. Greece is in a state of shock and is in mourning. Everyone is devastated. This was incredibly shocking and brought back memories of the great fires that raged in Peloponnese in 2007 that took the lives of 63 people.
Many people were stranded on the beach and had to be rescued by boat. Some good Samaritan fisherman rescued dozens of people. Many people drowned as well as they escaped from the fire to the sea; they were left to swim in the water for up to 5 hours. There are many sad stories and stories about survivors and the courageous firefighters and locals who saved dozens of lives.
Sadness has turned to anger and many people are left wondering why this happened. What mistakes were made and how could have this disaster been prevented? Every summer myself and family members would drive to the beaches of Marathon. We drove by Mati. Last summer we made a stop at Mati but changed our minds at the last-minute. Partly because we couldn’t find the beach and because it was a bit claustrophobic. We found the area a bit confusing and had to ask for directions to get back to the main road.. It was definitely a death trap. I could see how people, could get trapped there. The beach was not easily accessible, there was a cliff and it took a long time to get back to the main road.
If this bad news was not enough, I found out on the same day that the night before, there was yet another shooting in my hometown of Toronto. Gun violence is out of control in the city that was the safest in North America. This time it was in the neighbourhood that I grew up on the Danforth (Greek town) this is the safest and most liveliest area in all of Toronto. Tragically, two young girls an 18-year-old girl and a 10-year-old girl were murdered by gunfire and 14 injured others injured by the hands of a lunatic, a most hateful man. I feel zero sympathy or pity for him. It angers me that the Toronto media is trying desperately to garner sympathy for him. He is not the only person who had mental issues in the world and he is certainly not the only one who has suffered in his life. Shooting random innocent people is a deplorable and cowardly thing to do. It’s time to take all the guns away from men. Disarm all psychopaths! No one needs a gun. There isn’t a war going on in the west! Enough!
My thoughts and prayers to all of the innocent lives that were lost this year. Μy deepest condolences to all of the families and friends who have lost their loved ones.
I hope, that after all of these tragedies, that big and drastic changes happen all over the world. It’s wishful thinking, I know, but all we are left with is hope.