Monday , December 10 2018
Home / news / world / Death Toll Hits 50 in Greece Wildfires

Death Toll Hits 50 in Greece Wildfires

At least 50 people are feared dead in wildfires burning near Athens, as Greece faces its worst fire crisis in more than a decade.

According to the Red Cross, 26 bodies were found 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.

Image result for About 50 Reportedly Died in Greece Wildfires

Emergency workers have used boats and helicopters to evacuate people from a beach.

The authorities are seeking international assistance.

Hundreds of firefighters are battling the blazes and some people have left their homes near Athens.

A search and rescue operation is being conducted for 10 tourists who fled one of the fires in a boat, officials say.

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

He cut short an official trip to Bosnia in order to help coordinate the response to the situation, which firefighters have described as “extremely difficult”.

Most of the victims were trapped in Mati, 40km (25 miles) north-east of Athens, and died either in their homes or their cars.

At least 104 people are injured, 11 seriously, with 16 children among the casualties.

Dramatic video posted on social media showed damaged buildings, orange smoke-filled skies, and people fleeing the fires by car.

Residents in the worst-affected areas were forced into the sea to escape the flames.

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

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

Image result for About 50 Reportedly Died in Greece Wildfires

Prime Minister Tsipras said that “all emergency forces have been mobilised” and declared a state of emergency in the Attica region around Athens.

The government has asked other European countries for helicopters and additional firefighters to help tackle the fires.

The extreme weather comes as dozens of wildfires continue to rage in Sweden.

Image result for About 50 Reportedly Died in Greece Wildfires

Countries including Italy, Germany, Poland and France have all sent help in the form of additional planes, vehicles and firefighters.

But with temperatures set to soar again, they are in a race against time to get the fires under control.

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

 

 

 

 

Source: BBC

About tosin akinbami

Check Also

Senate Approves Six New Tertiary Institutions

The Senate on Wednesday passed six bills seeking to establish federal tertiary institutions in different …