Hexbyte Glen Cove Hundreds flee, homes destroyed as forest fires ravage Greek island thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Hundreds flee, homes destroyed as forest fires ravage Greek island

Hexbyte Glen Cove

The thick pine forests on Evia which made it appealing to tourists have turned in into a nightmare for firefighters.

Hundreds of Greek firefighters fought desperately Sunday to control wildfires on the island of Evia that have charred vast areas of pine forest, destroyed homes and forced tourists and locals to flee.

Blazes also raged in the Peloponnese region in the southwest, but fires in a northern suburb of Athens have subsided.

Greece and Turkey have been battling devastating fires for nearly two weeks as the region suffers its worst heatwave in decades. Officials and experts have linked such intense weather events to .

So far, they have killed two people in Greece and eight in neighbouring Turkey, with dozens more hospitalised.

But while rains brought some respite from the blazes in Turkey over the weekend, Greece continued to suffer amid soaring temperatures.

The rugged landscape and thick pine forests on Evia which made it appealing to tourists have turned in into a nightmare for firefighters.

The inferno on the Greece’s second largest island, which lies east of the capital, has turned thousands of hectares into ashes and destroyed homes.

Thousands have been evacuated, and hundreds of locals and tourists have fled on ferry boats.

Some 260 Greek firefighters with 66 vehicles were battling the blazes on Evia, helped by 200 more from Ukraine and Romania with 23 vehicles and seven aircraft.

Fires that erupted north of Athens several days ago have subsided.

One fire service official told the Eleftheros Typos newspaper that the heat from the fires on Evia and elsewhere was so intense that “the water from the hoses and the water-dropping aircraft was evaporating” before reaching the blazes.

Flames were devouring houses in the villages of Ellinika, Vasilika and Psaropouli.

Nine people were evacuated from a beach surrounded by flames by the coastal village of Psaropouli, the ANA news agency reported on Saturday.

Ferry boats and navy war ships were on alert off the coast to evacuate people.

‘Living dead’

Local officials were critical of the efforts to control the fires, which erupted on the island on August 3.

“With what we have seen so far the fire won’t be under control any time soon. I have no more voice left to ask for more aircraft. I can’t stand this situation”, Giorgos Tsapourniotis, mayor of Mantoudi in Evia told Skai TV on Saturday.

He added that many villages were saved because stayed there despite the evacuation order and kept the fires away from their homes.

“40,000 people will be living dead in the next years because of the destruction in the area”, Iraklis, a man from Istiaia town in northern Evia told Open TV on Sunday, as people’s homes and livelihoods were wiped out.

Greek deputy minister for civil protection Nikos Hardalias said late Saturday that provisional shelter was provided to 2,000 people who have been evacuated.

Meanwhile, in the Peloponnese region in the southwest, fronts in the towns of East Mani, Ilia and in Messinia remained active with many villages and settlements evacuated.

In a northern suburb of Athens, where blazes have raged for several days, there was no longer any active front though firefighters were tackling flare-ups.

In the previous 10 days, 56,655 hectares (140,000 acres) have been burnt in Greece, according to the European Forest Fire Information System. The average number of hectares burnt over the same period between 2008 and 2020 was 1,700 hectares.

Because of this situation deemed the worst in decades, Greece requested help through the European emergency support system, and reinforcement were sent from several countries.



© 2021 AFP

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Hundreds flee, homes destroyed as forest fires ravage Greek island (2021, August 8)
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Hexbyte Glen Cove Animals laugh too, analysis of vocalization data suggests thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Animals laugh too, analysis of vocalization data suggests

Hexbyte Glen Cove

“This work lays out nicely how a phenomenon once thought to be particularly human turns out to be closely tied to behavior shared with species separated from humans by tens of millions of years,” said UCLA professor Greg Bryant. Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

Human laughter is common, but it’s a somewhat mysterious part of our evolution. It’s clear to evolutionary scholars that we laugh as a part of play, signaling our cooperation or friendliness. But how did laughter evolve? And are humans the only ones who do it?

Not a chance: Animals laugh too, researchers have observed.

In a new article published in the journal Bioacoustics, primatologist and UCLA anthropology graduate student Sasha Winkler and UCLA professor of communication Greg Bryant take a closer look at the phenomenon of across the .

The pair combed through the existing on animal play , looking for mentions of vocal play signals—or what might be thought of as laughter.

They found such vocal play behavior documented in at least 65 species. That list includes a variety of primates, domestic cows and dogs, foxes, seals, and mongooses, as well as three , including parakeets and Australian magpies.

“This work lays out nicely how a phenomenon once thought to be particularly human turns out to be closely tied to behavior shared with species separated from humans by tens of millions of years,” Bryant said.

The researchers looked for information on whether the animal vocalizations were recorded as noisy or tonal, loud or quiet, high-pitched or low-pitched, short or long, a single call or a rhythmic pattern—seeking known features of play sounds.

There’s much existing documentation of play-based among , such as what is known as “play face” in primates or “play bows” in canines, the researchers noted.

Since what constitutes “play” in much of the animal kingdom is rough-and-tumble and can also resemble fighting, play sounds can help emphasize non-aggression during such physical moments, the article suggests.

“When we laugh, we are often providing information to others that we are having fun and also inviting others to join,” Winkler said. “Some scholars have suggested that this kind of vocal behavior is shared across many animals who play, and as such, laughter is our human version of an evolutionarily old vocal play signal.”

While Winkler and Bryant say that further observation and research into vocalizations would be fruitful, they also note that such observations can be hard to come by in the wild, especially for animals whose play sounds might be quieter.

Paying attention to other species in this way sheds light on the form and function of human laughter, the researchers write, and helps us to better understand the evolution of human social behavior.



More information:
Sasha L. Winkler et al. Play vocalizations and human laughter: a comparative review, Bioacoustics (2021). DOI: 10.1080/09524622.2021.1905065

Citation:
Animals laugh too, analysis of vocalization data suggests (2021, May 7)
retrieved 8 May 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-05-animals-analysis-vocalization.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

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