Rhodes fires: Locals assist vacationers while rescue flights are en route

Some people were forced to sleep on mattresses on the floors of sports centers, basketball courts, and conference rooms because so many hotels on the island were filled to capacity. 

The situation worsened on Saturday evening as more vacationers arrived via plane, including Ms. Savazzi, whose hotel had been evacuated prior to the family's arrival.

Jet2 has now canceled five flights to Rhodes, while Tui has canceled all flights to the island through Wednesday.

Thomas Cook has taken a different tack, stating that customers scheduled to travel to Rhodes on Sunday and Monday are "still eager to enjoy their vacation" as most areas of the island remain accessible.

Customers scheduled to travel to other parts of Rhodes on Tuesday, July 25 may cancel and receive a full, prompt refund if they no longer desire to travel.

EasyJet says it will operate additional flights to transport British vacationers home. Two flights will depart on Monday, with a total of 421 available seats, and a third will depart on Tuesday, in addition to the nine regularly scheduled flights.

Ms. Savazzi, from South Wales, reported that some volunteers offered comforting hugs to distressed tourists who arrived on Saturday evening, in addition to providing them with food, shelter, and water.

She stated that she, her husband, and two young sons were preparing to sleep on the floor of a school when a volunteer asked if there was a family of four among the shelter's occupants.

She also mentioned "My husband raised his hand. There was no other family of four present.The volunteer informed us that a local family could accommodate us in their residence. Now we are staying near Rhodes with them.A man drove us back to his residence, where his wife was still awake at 2:30 a.m., preparing the settee for us to sleep." 

The family is among those who have been taken in by residents after being evacuated from hotels destroyed or threatened by the wildfires. At least three hotels have been devastated in the densely forested eastern region of Kiotari.

Following the evacuation of their hotel, Leigh Mitchell and his family were taken in by a local Greek citizen when they were told there was no accommodation at a nearby hostel.

Mr. Mitchell from Birmingham told sources that they met a local Greek man and are now eating calamari and rice at his home. They truly did not know what they would have done without him.

Travel agents have decided to cancel incoming flights to Rhodes over the next few days, despite the fact that travelers stranded on the island are sleeping on makeshift mattresses in conference rooms and, in some cases, on the street.

To assist British nationals at Rhodes Airport, the Foreign Office dispatched a five-member rapid deployment team and four members of the British Red Cross. Travelers affected by the wildfires are advised to adhere to the instructions of emergency services and dial 112 if they are in imminent peril.

The British envoy to Greece stated that the Foreign Office had dispatched a "rapid deployment team" to assist British travelers. Some British tourists will spend another night in improvised shelters due to a lack of communication from their tour operators.