Greece Evacuations

Kayla Boehler, Quill Co-Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

In early February, Greece had to evacuate over 72,000 people because of a 550 pound bomb found underneath a gas station in Thessaloniki. The bomb was from World War II and was dropped by Allied Forces in Greece when the country was occupied by Nazi Germany in 1943/1944.

Many people were reluctant about leaving their home thinking that their belongings would be stolen, but realized the danger of staying if the military could not defuse the bomb. “We heard on TV that if the bomb explodes, it will be like a strong earthquake,” Michalis Papanos, a resident that was evacuated said. Not many countries have experienced a time when they had to evacuate while not in war, but this event was said to be, “Greece’s biggest peacetime evacuation ever,” by the New York Times.

Because of the Balkans closing their borders, Greece has let in about 60,000 refugees and are being held in “makeshift and formal camps” and live in “prison-like” conditions. Because of the evacuation, these refugees had to stay in a museum which was luxury for them. In addition, Greece’s migration ministry organized visits to monuments in Thessaloniki.

Once everyone was evacuated, the military transported the bomb to a military shooting range outside of town and deactivated it. After the 5 hours it took to deactivate, people were allowed to return home safely.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email