·

At least 80 killed as major wildfires destroy hundreds of homes and vehicles in Attica, Greece

attica-greece-wildfires-july-2018

Hundreds of homes and vehicles have been destroyed and at least 80 people died in Attica region following a number of devastating wildfires that ignited near Athens, Greece on Monday, July 23, 2018. Regional Governor Rena Dourou declared a state of emergency for Western and Eastern Attica. Most of the victims were trapped in the village of Mati and died either in homes or cars. The death toll is expected to rise.

The first wildfire reportedly broke out around 12:00 local time in the seaside resort town of Kineta, west of Athens, according to authorities.

Another fire began in the area of Penteli a few hours later and with the help of strong winds rapidly spread to other parts of eastern Attica, including Rafina, Pikermi, Mati and Neos Voutzas, leaving many people no time to escape.

As of early Tuesday, July 24, the death toll stood at 49, with many of the dead believed to be young children. Over the next couple of hours, the number rose to at least 60 and by July 26 to 80.

Mayor of the village of Mati, which is at the center of disaster, said they recovered 26 bodies in just one yard. Many more are still missing.

 The village is popular with local tourists, especially pensioners and children attending holiday camps, Reuters news agency notes.

The charred bodies in the yard were lying just 15 m (50 feet) from the sea, photographer Pantelis Saitas said.

Search-and-rescue operations are still underway, including the one for 10 tourists who fled one of the fires in a boat.

Greece mobilized all emergency forces and asked for international assistance.

"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."

Officials suggested the current blazes may have been started by arsonists looking to loot abandoned homes.

The wildfires are reportedly the worst to hit the country since 2007.

Featured image: Aftermath of deadly wildfire in Mati, Attica, Greece July 23, 2018.

If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.

Share:

Related articles

Producing content you read on this website takes a lot of time, effort, and hard work. If you value what we do here, select the level of your support and register your account.

Your support makes this project fully self-sustainable and keeps us independent and focused on the content we love to create and share.

All our supporters can browse the website without ads, allowing much faster speeds and a clean interface. Your comments will be instantly approved and you’ll have a direct line of communication with us from within your account dashboard. You can suggest new features and apps and you’ll be able to use them before they go live.

You can choose the level of your support.

Stay kind, vigilant and ready!

$5 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Instant comments
  • Direct communication
  • New features and apps suggestions
  • Early access to new apps and features

$50 /year

$10 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Instant comments
  • Direct communication
  • New features and apps suggestions
  • Early access to new apps and features

$100 /year

$25 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Instant comments
  • Direct communication
  • New features and apps suggestions
  • Early access to new apps and features

$200 /year

You can also support us by sending us a one-off payment using PayPal:

One Comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.