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8:09, 24 July 2018

Greece wildfires: Reports say at least 50 dead

Greece wildfires: Reports say at least 50 dead

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At least 50 individuals are feared dead in wildfires burning in the Attica region around Athens, in Greece’s worst fire crisis in a lot more than a decade.

According to the Red Cross, 26 bodies were identified in the yard of a villa in the seaside village of Mati, which is at the centre of the disaster.

Before news of the grim discovery, the official death toll stood at 24.

As portion of a huge rescue effort, emergency workers employed boats and helicopters to evacuate a beach.

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A search-and-rescue operation is being performed for ten tourists who fled one particular of the fires in a boat, officials say.

Hundreds of firefighters are battling the blazes and the authorities are seeking international assistance.

“We will do whatever is humanly feasible to handle it,” Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told reporters.

How badly burnt is Mati?

Most of the victims have been trapped in the village 40km (25 miles) north-east of Athens, and died either in their houses or their automobiles.

The village is located in the Rafina area which is common with regional tourists, particularly pensioners and children attending holiday camps, Reuters news agency notes.

At least 104 folks have been injured, 11 seriously, with 16 young children among the casualties.

“Mati doesn’t even exist as a settlement any longer,” one particular lady was quoted by Reuters as telling Greece’s Skai Tv. “I saw corpses, burned-out vehicles. I feel lucky to be alive.”

“Thankfully the sea was there and we went into the sea, due to the fact the flames were chasing us all the way to the water,” mentioned Kostas Laganos, who also survived the Mati fire.

“It burned our backs and we dived into the water… I mentioned my God, we must run to save ourselves.”

How are the authorities responding?

Prime Minister Tsipras has declared a state of emergency in Attica, saying “all emergency forces” had been mobilised.

His government has asked other European countries for helicopters and extra firefighters to assist tackle the fires.

Italy, Germany, Poland and France have all sent assist in the type of planes, vehicles and firefighters but with temperatures set to soar once more, they are in a race against time to get the fires beneath handle.

The wildfires are the worst to hit Greece because 2007, when dozens of folks were killed in the southern Peloponnese peninsula.

What triggered the fires?

Fires are a recurring issue for the duration of the hot, dry summer time months in Attica. The flames this week have been fanned by higher winds.

Officials quoted by AFP news agency have suggested the present blazes may possibly have been began by arsonists looking to loot abandoned residences.

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Are you in Athens? How have you been impacted by the wildfires? E mail [email protected].

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Published at Tue, 24 Jul 2018 06:53:49 +0000

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