74 dead as Greece wildfires incinerate popular coastal vacation spot

July 24, 2018
Athens: At least 74 people were killed, scores injured and many remained unaccounted for after wildfires spread rapidly through a popular vacationing spot on the Greek coast east of Athens, turning it into a disaster area that left the country reeling and in desperate need of firefighting reinforcements from the European Union on Tuesday.

Emergency services said the bodies of 24 adults and children were found just 30 meters from the sea, to where they had tried to escape from the flames that were raging through the fishing village of Mati, which took the brunt of the blaze that swept up coastal parts of the Attica region around Rafina, 15 km northeast of Athens International airport, Efe news agency reported.

Greek firefighters gave the latest death toll as 74, with 187 people injured, including 23 minors, although they warned that those figures were expected to rise as they had identified dozens of burned-out houses they had yet to access due to the extreme temperatures inside the buildings.

So far, 47 bodies have been taken to a forensic centre near Athens for formal identification.

Fanned by strong winds, the fast-moving wildfire incinerated whole swathes of the landscape and destroyed hundreds of properties and vehicles, many of which had to be abandoned as many people made a dash for the sea, using boats to escape the encroaching flames.

Some 700 people were rescued by coast guards, including 19 pulled directly from the water but several people drowned before help reached them.

Spain and Cyprus sent water-dropping planes and Portugal contributed 50 firefighters to bolster the Greek efforts to control the blaze, but the conflagration was still raging out of control late Tuesday.

President Vladimir Putin of Russia said his country was prepared to help but did not elaborate what shape this assistance would take.

The area around Mati, on the east coast, is popular with well-to-do Athens dwellers who built summer holiday homes there because it is surrounded by normally verdant forest and rolling hills within easy access to the Aegean Sea.

Dry and very hot conditions have turned the area into a potential tinderbox, authorities have said.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras declared a state of emergency and triggered the EU Civil Protection Mechanism requesting back-up to fight the flames.

European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides expressed his sorrow for Greece and thanked Cyprus, Spain and Bulgaria for offering planes, firefighters and vehicles. (IANS)

Maha-Karnataka border dispute: ‘Stop attacks in 24 hours or we won’t be able to observe patience’

If attacks on Maharashtra trucks do not stop, then Centre, Karnataka govt will be responsible for any untoward situation NCP leader accused Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai of inciting ‘anti-Maharashtra protests.’...

I&B Ministry approves new self-regulatory body for print, digital news outlets

The self-regulatory body (SRB) called the PADMA has 47 news publishers Self-Regulatory Body composed of a judge and two journalists Govt, however, still hasn’t issued clear guidelines on how an...

Karnataka-Maharashtra border row: Violence in Belagavi; over 100 detained

Bengaluru: The protests by Kannada activists around the issue of border row between Maharashtra and Karnataka took a violent turn on Tuesday after trucks bearing Maharashtra registration number plates were attacked...

13 arrested for post poll violence in Gujarat

Gandhinagar: Thirteen people have been arrested in connection with post-poll violence in Kalol constituency in Gujarat's Gandhinagar district. During voting in Kalol constituency in the second and final leg of the...

Babri demolition: Hindu Mahasabha leader held for bid to recite Hanuman Chalisa at Mathura Masjid; security beefed up

Hindu organisation announced Babri Masjid demolition to recite Hanuman Chalisa at the mosque Hindu litigants have filed a petition in a Mathura court seeking to bar Muslims from praying at...

Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri apologises to Delhi HC for tweets against Justice S Muralidhar

New Delhi: Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri on Tuesday apologised to the high court here for his tweets against Justice S. Muralidhar, who is current Chief Justice of Orissa HC and was a...

Ashish Mishra to face trial in murder of Lakhimpur Kheri farmers

Lakhimpur Kheri (Uttar Pradesh): Ashish Mishra, son of Union minister Ajay Mishra, will now be tried for the murder of four farmers and a journalist during a protest in Lakhimpur Kheri...

China sends spy ship into Indian Ocean ahead of Agni-V test: Key points

Chinese spy ship entered Indian Ocean Region (IOR) as India is prepping up for long-range ballistic missile test, months after Chinese high-tech research ship was docked at Hambantota in southern...

Praise pours in for Lalu’s daughter for donating kidney to dad, BJP leaders included

Lalu’s daughter Rohini got praise from BJP leaders - Giriraj Singh and Nishikant Dubey The 74-year-old veteran politician had a successful surgery on Monday Tejashwi Yadav and Misa Bharti have...

N.Korea orders artillery firing to protest live-fire drills

Seoul: North Korea's military said on Tuesday that it has ordered artillery firing into the sea in response to live-fire drills between South Korea and the US near the inter-Korean...

Framework deal signed in Sudan to end political stalemate

Khartoum: Sudan's military and civilian leaders have signed a political framework agreement to end the political impasse and institute a two-year transitional authority. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, incumbent President and Commander-In-Chief...

Ukraine hit by 8th wave of Russian strikes

Kiev: Ukraine has been hit by the latest barrage of Russian missiles, marking the eighth time since the strikes first began on October 10. In his nightly video address to...

Read Previous

Mob thrashes Muslim man at Ghaziabad court

Read Next

File details on appointment of Lokpal: SC to Centre

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com