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Devastating wildfires kill dozens in Greece

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Greece continues to deal with the devastating wildfires in east and west Attica that killed 80 people and left 187 injured.

Greece wildfires.jpg

Image shows people watching a wildfire in the town of Rafina on July 23, 2018

Greece observed a period of mourning Wednesday as crews continued checking cars and homes burned in fast-moving fires that have killed at least 74 people, VOA reported.

The effort to extinguish the most disastrous wildfires Attica has seen in decades continued on Wednesday morning in Kineta (west Attica) and the Geraneia Mountains (east Attica). 

Authorities said many people are still reported missing and there are fears that the death toll could rise further.

The worst fire spread near the port of Rafina, near Athens, sending many people to beaches and into the water in search of safety. Boats evacuated more than 700 people.

The government announced a series of measures on Tuesday to help those affected by the devastating fires, while Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addressed the nation in a televised statement, declaring a three-day mourning.

The Greek PM said the country is experiencing an unspeakable tragedy.

“There is nothing more valuable than human life,” Tsipras said in his message, adding that “we must not allow mourning to overwhelm us, as there are hours of a struggle, hours of unity, bravery and solidarity.

“We can only stand united in the face of tragedy…There are no dividing lines at such times.”

Tsipras said that the struggle to put out the fires, save what can be saved, alleviate the pain of those affected and find the missing people continues. He thanked the foreign countries that rushed to help Greece tackle the fires. Italy, Germany, Poland and France have all sent help in the form of planes, vehicles and firefighters, while Spain and Cyprus have also offered assistance, and more planes are expected to join from Romania.

Finally, he praised the efforts being made by firemen, medical staff, volunteers the armed forces and police who are bravely fighting the wildfires. He promised to leave nobody without the help of the State, adding that all the necessary answers will also be given for the tragedy.

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