Greece counts cost of deadliest wildfires in memory

Firefighters were still dealing with pockets of flames from the unprecedented outbreak around Athens as the government announced a raft of measures to compensate those affected. 

Greece counts cost of deadliest wildfires in memory

World Bulletin / News Desk

Greece was counting the cost Thursday of its deadliest wildfires in living memory, as emergency crews searched incinerated homes and vehicles for the missing after at least 81 people were confirmed to have died.

The fires, which broke out on Monday, struck coastal villages popular with holidaymakers and burned with such ferocity that most people fled to the safety of the sea with just the clothes on their backs.

Survivors spoke of harrowing scenes including entire families burned alive in their homes.

One resident of Mati, the village worst affected, described it as "a night of hell".

A fire service spokesman told AFP on Thursday that a blaze near Kineta, 25 kilometres (15 miles) west of Athens, was largely being managed, though it was still working to extinguish pockets of flames.

There was still no official word on the number of people missing after the catastrophe, but the death toll of 81 already makes this Greece's worst fire outbreak in decades.

Among those killed was a newly married Irishman who had been on honeymoon in Mati when his car was caught in the wildfires. Although his wife Zoe managed to escape to a nearby beach, she was taken to hospital with burns, according to British media.

An emergency services spokeswoman said firefighters were still searching for people reported missing by their relatives.

She added that relatives of those missing had been asked to provide DNA samples to help authorities identify bodies.

A website set up by residents lists 27 people still unaccounted for, including a pair of nine-year-old twin girls.

Last Mod: 26 Temmuz 2018, 11:11
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