Residents and thousands of vacationers have spent recent days fleeing wildfires in parts of Greece, with dramatic news images showing smoke-filled skies glowing orange as the fires rage.
The scale of the disaster has been highlighted by remarkable imagery captured by several observation satellites orbiting Earth.
Shared by EUMETSAT (European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites), the images and footage clearly show the extent of the smoke and fire impacting the Greek islands of Evia and Rhodes.
The image below, for example, shows a blaze in the southern part of Evia, which is similar in size to Rhode Island. It was captured on July 24 by the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Sentinel-2 satellite. To highlight the fire, the image has combined natural color bands with the satellite’s shortwave-infrared data.
EUMETSAT also posted footage (below) showing wildfires on Rhodes, about 260 miles (420 km) southeast of the Greek capital, Athens, captured by ESA’s Meteosat Third Generation – Imager 1 weather satellite.
“The catastrophic fires in Rhodes are clearly visible from space here, as MTG-I1 observed their resulting large smoke plumes on Saturday,” it said in a message posted with the footage.
In a thread accompanying the post, EUMETSAT explains how it adjusted the footage to make it look more natural.
In another incredible image, smoke can be seen billowing from Rhodes, blown south by winds that have been spreading the catastrophic fires and hampering efforts to contain them. EUMETSAT notes that this is a “false color” image that’s designed to highlight the spread of the smoke.
In some good news for those involved, Greece’s meteorological service has forecast that temperatures will begin falling in the region from Thursday.