Greece wildfires

Updated: 8/25/2018 4:51:45 AM
A fire has broken out on the island of Salamina, just a 15 minute ferry ride from Piraeus on the mainland.
The fire is in the Kanakia area where 60 scouts were camping. They were evacuated immediately and taken to the beach for safety.
According to the Fire Brigade there are some 16 firefighters with eight vehicles and helicopters combating the blaze.
Source: DORRIS
Updated: 8/15/2018 3:02:43 AM
The death toll from Greece's deadliest fire disaster rose to 96 after one more victim died in hospital, the fire brigade said early on Wednesday.
Reports said the latest casualty was a 68-year-old man, a day after a 63-year-old man died.
More than 20 people are still hospitalised after the July 23 wildfire in the coastal resort of Mati near Athens, several in critical condition.
Four senior officials including the minister responsible for the police and the heads of the police and fire brigade have been removed from their posts.
The government had insisted that with winds blowing at speeds of up to 120 kilometres an hour, there was little time to mount an effective evacuation.
It later emerged that the police had failed to properly seal off the area because the fire brigade had not alerted them to the location and size of the blaze.
As a result, many drivers were inadvertently diverted into Mati's narrow streets and trapped.
The relatives of two people who perished in the fires have also sued the authorities for negligence and exposure to danger. More lawsuits are expected.
Source: DORRIS
Updated: 8/14/2018 2:21:56 AM
On Monday, a 63-year-old man lost his life due to severe burns in the Intensive Care Unit of the KAT Attica General Hospital. This has raised the death toll of the eastern Attica wildfires to 95.
Firefighters continued their efforts into Monday morning (August 13) to bring under control two wildfires that broke out on the island of Evia on Sunday, with the commander of the Evia Fire Brigade Vangelis Palios telling the Athens News Agency that there were no active fronts and that the fire would be completely extinguished by noon.
In the meantime, Central Greece Regional Governor Kostas Bakoyannis declared the Dirfys-Messapia Municipality in a state of emergency.
More than 186 firefighters with 62 firefighting vehicles, air craft and helicopters were stationed in the region on Sunday, while some 500 people from the nearby villages of Kontodespoti and Stavros were evacuated as a precaution.
Source: DORRIS
Updated: 8/13/2018 3:53:15 AM
A large fire broke has broken out on the Greek island of Evia near Athens, the government said, with two villages evacuated, less than a month after more than 90 people died in Greece’s worst-ever wildfire.
“The prime minister is in close contact with the interior minister over the large fire in Evia,” the prime minister Alexis Tsipras’ office said.
Agriculture minister Vangelis Apostolou, who was on the scene, told state agency ANA that fire-fighting forces were bracing for an all-night struggle.
“Forces from the entire region have been transfered here,” Apostolou said.
Some 500 people at the local villages of Kontodespoti and Stavros had earlier been evacuated as a precaution.
Around 250 firefighters with 62 fire engines supported by troops were operating in the area, about 92km north of Athens, officials said.
Source: DORRIS
Updated: 7/26/2018 3:46:55 AM
More than 15 fires broke out on three fronts in that part of southern Greece on Monday afternoon, according to government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos, who described the challenge to firefighters as unprecedented.
Hundreds of firefighters were deployed Monday to battle the blazes in eastern Attica (the Mati area) and Kineta in western Attica, where two fires were still active Wednesday morning.
Twelve port vessels were mobilized, along with a navy frigate, two gunships and three helicopters, Tzanakopoulos said, adding that 30 private vessels were also used in the rescue mission. Army and air force personnel and equipment were drafted to help, he said.
Following an appeal for help, some European Union countries, including Cyprus, Italy, Spain and Bulgaria, offered assistance in the form of firefighting planes, trucks and paramedics.

"I saw dead people. I saw at least 300 cars burned. I saw the burned houses," said Evangelos Bournos, mayor of Rafina-Pikermi Tuesday, recalling the scene in Mati. "There is no such settlement anymore. We are trying to function in another reality because two settlements, Mati and Kokkino Limanaki (just south of Mati), have disappeared. They have been lost on the map," Bournos said. Up to 50 houses were also destroyed in Neos Voutzas, west of Mati, Bournos said: "It has changed the landscape. We live another reality."
Source: DORRIS
Updated: 7/26/2018 1:06:47 AM
At least 81 people are now confirmed to have died in wildfires that have ripped though Greece.
Close to 200 people - including 23 children - have also been injured as a result of the devastation, which Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has labelled a "national tragedy".
Among the dead were 26 people found huddled together near a beach, with experts saying some bodies may be difficult to identify.
"They had tried to find an escape route but unfortunately these people and their kids didn't make it in time. Instinctively, seeing the end nearing, they embraced, " Nikos Economopoulos, head of Greece's Red Cross, said.
The mayor of Rafina, Evangelos Bournous, told the BBC that the dead could exceed 100. Fire brigade officials say that some of the missing may have died.
Source: DORRIS
Updated: 7/24/2018 5:42:50 AM
"What is happening here in eastern Attica is a black hell. After I passed by hundreds of burning cars and houses earlier today, I reached the yard where police said so many people had been found dead," said journalist Kostas Koukoumakas. "Most of them were tourists who had tried to find refuge but did not make it."
The wildfires are reportedly the worst to hit the country since 2007.
Source: DORRIS

Published Tuesday, July 24, 2018

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.

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

A search-and-rescue operation is being conducted for 10 tourists who fled one 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 possible to control it," Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told reporters.

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

The village is located in the Rafina region which is popular with local tourists, especially pensioners and children attending holiday camps, Reuters news agency notes.

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

"Mati doesn't even exist as a settlement anymore," one woman was quoted by Reuters as telling Greece's Skai TV. "I saw corpses, burned-out cars. I feel lucky to be alive."

"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 also survived the Mati fire.

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

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who had traveled to Bosnia for an official visit, returned to Athens after being briefed by Citizens’ Protection Minister Nikos Toskas about the fires.

Expressing concern about the “parallel fronts,” Tsipras said that “despite the adverse conditions we will do everything possible to bring the situation under control.”

Toskas, for his part, suggested that arsonists were behind the blazes. “Those fires are not so innocent,” he said, noting that a fire had broken out in Kineta on Sunday night in a spot close to Monday's blaze.

Three villages were evacuated in the early afternoon after the first fire broke out in the Geraneia mountains near Kineta. But the efforts of firefighters were not enough to stop the flames from reaching, and damaging, dozens of homes.

There was particular concern as the flames of the Kineta fire approached the site of an oil refinery in Aghioi Theodoroi on Monday evening. Toskas said firefighters were quickly dispatched to that area.

The second major fire broke out later Monday afternoon in the area of Pendeli. Local authorities evacuated children’s summer camps while dozens of homes and cars were destroyed, according to local reports.

A coast guard vessel was late Monday night seeking a boat in which 10 tourists are said to have fled from Mati, in eastern Attica, to escape the fire. Reports late Monday night indicated that five of the tourists had been found.

Another fire at Apokoronas in the Cretan prefecture of Hania also taxed firefighters earlier in the day.
Source: DORRIS

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Greece wildfires Facts

Power: 4
Affected Area: 100 km.
Alert Level: Red
Category: Fire
Response: Evacuate
Severity: Extreme
Urgency: Immediate
Certainty: Observed

Killed: 95
Injured: 200
Missing: 40
Evacuated: 1000

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