Before and after satellite photos show the shocking effects of the Rhodes bushfires as rolling green fields and mountains have been reduced to scorched earth.
The Greek island has been torn apart by a week of horrific fires, forcing thousands of tourists to evacuate to safety.
On Sunday afternoon, as the first Britons began to return to Gatwick airport, Greek authorities issued further warnings to tourists to flee much of Corfu as another holiday resort was engulfed in flames.
There are stark contrasts between satellite images taken of Rhodes on January 2, 2022, and July 23, 2023.
A raging inferno has spread across the green hills and trees, leaving a trail of destruction and triggering the largest disaster evacuation in the history of Greece.
For a week, firefighters have been tackling fires that broke out in the peak tourist season, causing panic among tourists and canceling flights and vacations.
Before and after satellite photos show the shocking effects of the Rhodes bushfires as rolling green fields and mountains have been reduced to charred earth.
Smoke rises to the skies as Rhodes battles terrifying wildfires amid blistering heat wave sweeping across Europe, forcing mass evacuations
British tourists have now also been told to evacuate parts of Corfu (pictured) as another Greek party hotspot is devastated by bushfires.
Hundreds of tourists crowded inside Rhodes International Airport, some trying to sleep on their beach towels as they waited for flights leaving the island.
Britons trapped in Rhodes have described the scenes at the airport as “absolute pandemonium” as they try to escape the bushfires.
Stranded families have told MailOnline how they were left ‘fighting for our lives’ to try to get on the boats as desperate tourists pushed children to force them on board.
Tourists returning home from Rhodes warmly hugged those waiting for them at Gatwick airport after successfully fleeing the terrifying hells on the Greek island.
On Corfu, those from Santa, Megoula, Porta, Palia Perithia and Sinies have been told to evacuate to Kasiopi amid devastating fires.
Tourists in Rou, Katavolo, Kentroma, Tritsi, Kokokila, Sarakiniatika, Plagia, Kalami, Vlachatika, Kavalerena must now evacuate to Ipsos. And the British in Viglatouri and Nisaki should flee to Barbati.
The government said on Sunday afternoon that it was “actively monitoring the fires in Rhodes” and is in close contact with local authorities.
The Foreign Office has deployed a Rapid Deployment Team of five staff and four British Red Cross first responders who have been photographed trying to help British citizens at the airport.
Wildfires in Rhodes have prompted mass evacuations as much of the island has been engulfed in flames amid Europe’s heatwave.
Destroyed vehicles are seen as wildfires burn through forests in Rhodes, Greece, prompting mass evacuations.
Forest fires burn the forests in Rhodes, Greece. Thousands of tourists are trying to flee the island
A tourist from Wales awaits the departure of the planes at the airport, after being evacuated after a forest fire on the island of Rhodes.
Eager tourists await more information by looking at the departure boards at the Rhodes International Airport amid the chaotic scenes.
After rival airlines TUI and Jet2 canceled flights to the island, easyJet has announced that two repatriation flights will be dispatched to bring more Britons back to London Gatwick, but not until tomorrow. The airline will also send another plane on Tuesday, while Ryanair has yet to announce cancellations.
Conor Cullen, 45, his wife Danielle, 41, and their two daughters, ages 11 and 13, say they have been left alone. The frustrated family, who live near Belfast, was evacuated from the Princess Beach Hotel in Kiotari at 4pm yesterday and taken to Gennadi, where they joined thousands waiting on the beach for rescue boats.
Mr Cullen, who works in business intelligence, told MailOnline: “When we made the decision to move Gennadi, that was the big moment in the situation last night, we had to take the bull by the horns.” Nobody came to save us. We had to fend for ourselves.
His wife, Danielle, a hairdresser, added: “When you’re watching a movie and you think that’s never going to happen.” Last night showed that these things happen and we were really fighting for our lives trying to get on the boat.
Mr Cullen said the situation on the beach was “like something out of a movie”. He added: ‘You might assume that with young children people were more tolerant, but they weren’t. They all had their own situation and tried to force themselves.
They were pushing the children out of the way. It looked like we were going to have to get physical. We were very lucky that a boat stopped in front of us. Then there was a sick woman who had passed out in front of us, but others were still trying to push themselves.
The first Britons arrived at Gatwick airport with smiles of relief, while hundreds more remain stuck in hours of delays at Rhodes airport.
Tourists Charlie and Shane Murphy-Jones arrive at Gatwick airport from the Greek island of Rhodes as bushfires continue to spread and thousands are forced to flee.
A man wearing an England shirt stands near the international arrivals gate at Gatwick airport after returning from Rhodes.
The family, who arrived in Rhodes on July 15, were able to take a three-hour boat ride to Afantou before taking a taxi to Stegna Beach, where they will wait until their flight back to Belfast on Tuesday. After fleeing their hotel, they have been left with two small bags and their passports.
Lowri Jones, from Crymych, Pembrokeshire, Wales, described scenes of “chaos” at the airport after arriving last night. She told The Independent: “It was absolute chaos at the airport, with long lines of people trying to find out which coach they were.”
The British were forced to go into the sea and jump into the boats to escape the coming hell, while others were forced to sleep on the beach away from the flames.
More than 30,000 people were evacuated from Rhodes, with many others forced to leave behind their belongings to take refuge in other resorts.
Those caught up in the chaos have criticized holiday companies for an apparent lack of help, as they have been forced to rely on assistance from overstretched Greek authorities and well-meaning locals.
Now TUI says it has canceled all flights to the island through Wednesday, while Jet2 has canceled five, with empty planes still flying to the island to bring tourists home.
As the dire situation has shown no signs of improving, many are still trapped, with Greek authorities warning that things could get even worse.
A UK government spokesman said: “We are actively monitoring the fires in Rhodes and are in close contact with local authorities.”
‘The FCDO has deployed a Rapid Deployment Team (RDT) of five FCDO staff and four British Red Cross first responders to Rhodes to support British citizens, whose safety is our top priority. They will be based at Rhodes International Airport to assist with travel documents and liaise with the Greek authorities and ground tour operators.
“British citizens in Rhodes should contact their travel operator in the first instance for any queries regarding flight rescheduling and continue to check our up-to-date gov.uk travel advice for information.”