Once again, this summer, Greece faces extensive wildfires. The country mourns the loss of human lives, while the undeniable impact on the flora and fauna of the affected areas, as well as the destruction of properties, remains apparent. Utilizing Brandwatch platform, Clip News collected and analyzed relevant data from Twitter for the week of July 18-25, 2023. The selection of this platform was primarily due to its informative and commentary nature.

Per Day and Per Hour

Rhodes, Corfu, Attica, Boeotia, Evia, Achaea, and Laconia are just a few of the areas being tested during the specified timeframe. The number of references follows an increasing trend on days when there were serious re-ignitions. Some television channels chose to provide continuous coverage and live broadcasts during the period of July 18-20, 2023. However, these efforts dwindled from Friday, July 21, a day that also marked the lowest volume of references. The highest number of references was observed on Tuesday, July 18 due to multiple fronts, while the subsequent peaks during the three-day period from July 23 to July 25 were mainly related to the situation in Rhodes, along with the Canadair plane crash in Karystos.Users continue to tweet incessantly, and the number of references only decreases between 03:00-06:00. It rises again, with minor fluctuations throughout the day, coinciding with news coverage of the events. The peak occurs at 18:00, registering approximately 17,500 references.Utility and Critique

Twitter updates on the arising needs, calls for help, coordination of volunteer groups, and the transmission of visual material from the fire fronts formed the core of the content. Notably, the immediacy of the platform and rapid dissemination of information, as evident in the number of shares/retweets, was a characteristic feature.Citizens’ comments on the government’s handling of the wildfires also generate significant buzz, which is also evident in the thematic content trending during the studied period. Additionally, the narrative of climate change invoked by the Prime Minister and government officials also became a focal point of criticism.Global Headline

The fires in Greece became a dominant topic in numerous international media outlets during this week. Special bulletins and broadcast of images from the affected areas were widespread worldwide.Official accounts of international media, journalists, correspondents, and regular users discuss, express their support, and disseminate information related to the fires in Greece. Interest remains high in developments, as evidenced by the following chart:It is worth noting that the significant number of British tourists visiting the island of Rhodes every year explains why the country accounts for the highest percentage (45%) of international references on the subject during this analysis period. The United States follows in second place (18%), with substantial tweets from expatriates. Australia follows in third place (4%), also due to references about an Australian politician vacationing in Rhodes.Overall, the emotions evoked in Twitter users during these days are primarily negative (fear, disgust, anger, etc.):

Facts

According to the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) data for 2023, up to the aforementioned study period, 429,000 hectares have burned in Greece, making the country the second in the EU in total burnt areas after Spain. It should be noted that the average burnt area in the decade 2013-2022 was 289,000 hectares per year.

In Rhodes, according to the estimates of the Hellenic Police, 19,000 people were moved to safe locations, with 16,000 transported by land and 3,000 by sea.

As announced by the Fire Service on Sunday, July 07, 64 new forest fires erupted across the country within 8 hours, which amounts to 8 fires per hour.

The above analysis presents an indicative approach, considering that differentiation in the sample and the time frame may present a different perspective.