The government and the Greek authorities have declared a state of emergency after devastating fires broke out in the country on Monday, causing at least 74 deaths and hundreds of injuries, several of them in critical condition.
About 500 firefighters are fighting the five major active fires in different parts of the country. At least 74 deaths have been confirmed but the number is estimated to be even higher as emergency services continue to receive calls reporting the disappearance of people. The search for them is being carried out by patrol groups, made up of the Armed Forces and the various Fire Departments, in the areas of Rafina, Neos Voutzas and Mati.
There are 187 confirmed injuries, with at least 11 being in critical condition and among the wounded 23 are children. According to the spokeswoman of the National Fire Brigade of Greece, 71 adults and 11 children are being hospitalized and about 715 people have been safely removed from the premises.
Victims cornered by flames
All the victims were found between the port of Rafina, about 30 kilometers from Athens, and Neo Makri. The victims were in houses or cars while others tried to escape from the fire by throwing themselves into the sea, but some eventually drowned.
The Greek coastguard said it had found 4 dead bodies at the sea and 696 people were rescued, including several tourists, who report that other groups of tourists are missing.
A spokesperson for the Red Cross told to the Greek television that firefighters discovered a group of 26 people who died nestled to each other, in a camp in the small town of Mati on Tuesday.
Three days of mourning and request for international aid
Firefighting operations continued overnight, but were hampered by the strong winds. Portugal, Cyprus, Germany, Bulgaria, France, Spain, Italy and Poland have already offered aid to Greece to help their firefighters and are already on the ground.
Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, announced three days of mourning for the victims of the fires and noted that the important thing at this time are the human lives and to mobilize all forces to save them.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office has already begun investigations to determine the causes of the fires that, according to government suspicious, may have been intentional or caused by negligent conducts.
Athens rain forecast may not be a good sign
There is at least a 30 percent chance of precipitation and storm surge in the Athens weather forecast this week. But that is not exactly good news, given that these storms will produce a lot of rain, and may even make combat efforts more difficult, with the increase of the winds and with the high variation of the direction of the same ones.
The team of Defend Europa express solidarity with the Greek people and our followers from Greece, during this very difficult time that they are going through. We wish you well.