At least 18 burned bodies found as Greece wildfires spread

At least 18 burned bodies found as Greece wildfires spread
Source: File

Athens: At least eighteen burned bodies, possibly migrants, were found in a rural area in northern Greece where wildfires were burning out of control for a fourth day, authorities said.

The intense fire and weather continued on their fourth day as hot, dry and windy conditions have raged dozens of forest fires across country while 4 planes, 3 helicopters and more than 200 firefighters are doing their best to extinguish the fires on sites but the fire is spreading.

Civil protection ordered the evacuation of Ano Liosia in northwest Athens, a district of over 25,000 people. Over 60 fires have erupted in the past 24 hours amid a dangerous mix of gale-force winds and temperatures of up to 41 degrees Celsius. Six countries were sending help via the European Union's civil protection mechanism, the fire department said.

As a result of the fire, 18 migrants including two children in north of the city of Alexandroupolis were badly burned to death while trying to enter Turkey illegally from the forest. The latest deaths pushed the overall toll to 20.

Another big blaze was still raging at a landfill in the industrial zone of Aspropyrgos, west of Athens, covering the area in a noxious black cloud. Over 40,000 hectares were destroyed in wildfires the three days from August 19 to 21, according to a report by the National Observatory of Athens.

Flames continued to spread unchecked in northeastern Greece as well as the islands of Evia and Kythnos, the region of Boeotia north of Athens, in the Peloponnese and in western Greece.

On the island of Evia, near the capital, officials on late Monday evacuated the industrial town of Nea Artaki, where the fire has damaged poultry and pork farms. An evacuation was also ordered at the hospital of Alexandroupolis, a northeastern Greek port city located in an area where fires were raging for a fourth day. In this whole process since 4 days around 20,000 people, mostly tourists, had to be evacuated.

Forest fires are becoming more common and are currently burning in many countries, including the US and Australia due to the devastation caused by climate change.