“Climate crisis is here,” professor of Dynamic Tectonic Applied Geology and Disaster Management at the University of Athens, Efthimios Lekkas said in a meeting organized by KEDE, the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece. “We will constantly witness such phenomena from now on.”
The professor outlined the scale of Evia’s wildfire destruction and talked about the future, noting that, from the burned 123,00 acres, “the 74,100 will never become a forest again. They have been decimated.” Only the remaining 49,400 acres of former woodland can be left to naturally regenerate or be reforested. Additionally, he stated that flooding and soil erosion are now the main problems the areas of Evia, Attica, and Peloponnese are facing.
Lekkas, who is also a scientific consultant with KEDE, spoke to the TV station MEGA, on August 8th. When asked about what the future holds regarding new natural disasters during autumn, he mentioned consequences fall under two categories: “The first one is about the environment, the air, the soil, the underground, the marine environment. The second one is the aftermath and disaster that follows a big fire. We have a lot of experience regarding that, in the University of Athens. We have observed a seven-fold increase in the flood index [after a wildfire],” he added.
He emphasized we have to prioritize protecting these areas from flooding and erosion: “What we need is immediate action with innovative solutions. We would have to implement small scale constructions in key locations with the aim of protecting these areas from the danger of flooding.”