Updated: 10/16/2017 1:10:24 PM
Forest fires have cut off Mação, town of 2,000 people in Portugal, as firefighters struggle to control two large blazes in the centre of the country.
"It’s impossible to leave or to enter Mação because of the flames and the smoke," Vasco Estrela, mayor of Mação, told Lusa news agency.
Rescuers had evacuated about 130 people from nearby villages, said Patrícia Gaspar, spokeswoman for the civil protection agency (ANPC).
Updated: 10/16/2017 10:43:41 AM
Portuguese PM Antonio Costa reacted to the new tragedy by declaring a state of national calamity north of the Tagus to ensure the mobilisation of more firefighters to tackle the blazes.
Twenty-five roads in the north and centre of the country remained closed to traffic this morning because of the fires.
Portugal’s Secretary of State of Internal Administration Jorge Gomes appealed for international help to combat the wildfires, which are being tackled by nearly 6,000 people using more than 1,780 vehicles.
Published Monday, October 16, 2017
Deadly forest fires sweep across Portugal and northern Spain.
Hurricane Ophelia's strong winds are blamed for fanning flames of deadly forest fires in Portugal and Spain.
Around 500 blazes were reported in the country’s central and northern regions where a state of emergency has been declared.
In total, some 440 fires were burning across Portugal on Sunday, which is “the worst day since the beginning of the year,” according to a spokeswoman for the national civil protection agency, Patricia Gaspar.
Portugal Wildfire Facts
Affected Area: 60000 km.
Alert Level: Red