Devastating photos show the impact of deadly wildfires in Athens

Hannah Rogers
July 26, 2018

Zoe remains in hospital with her injuries. Many are in serious condition.

Rescuers and volunteers help local people evacuate the village of Mati during a wildfire near Athens, on July 23, 2018.

Wildfires in Greece have killed at least 79 people and sent thousands fleeing.

Official Niko Papaefstathiou told state television the two victims were taken to an Athens hospital early Tuesday. Three of the cases are considered life-threatening.

The Department of Foreign Affairs released a statement on behalf of the family: "We are deeply saddened to confirm the death of our family member, Brian O'Callaghan-Westropp". Fire officials said several fires seemed to erupt at once in the area outside the capital of Athens, where temperatures had been in the 90s for days.

The couple were travelling in a vehicle when they were forced to flee. About 700 people have been rescued from the sea, while others died in buildings or cars.

Stavrinidis, his wife and four friends swam out into the sea to escape the smoke, but they quickly became disoriented, losing sight of the shore and being swept out further by the wind and currents.

Fire officials say at least six people have suffered burns in a forest fire near Athens.

The blaze broke out Monday afternoon during a hot, dry spell but the cause was not immediately clear.

Orange flames engulfed pine forests, turning them to ash and leaving lines of charred cars in the smoke-filled streets of seaside towns near Athens after the fires broke on Monday.

Huge wildfires in Greece spread by powerful winds have killed at least 49 and injured scores more, authorities announced Tuesday as the blazes ravaged several areas on the outskirts of the country's capital.

The wildfires are the worst to hit Greece since 2007
The wildfires are the worst to hit Greece since 2007

Greece sought worldwide help through the European Union.

The government also asked other European countries for helicopters and additional firefighters to help tackle the fires, the BBC said.

Civil Protection Spokesman Spyros Georgiou told The Associated Press that the formal request would be made later Monday.

A man looks at the flames as a wildfire burns in the town of Rafina, near Athens, Greece, July 23, 2018.

The main Athens-Corinth motorway, one of two road routes to the Peloponnese peninsula, was closed and train services were canceled.

A state of emergency has been declared in some areas by Governor Rena Dourou.

In eastern Attica, some people on a beach threatened by the flames dived into the water. Greece - already using its full fleet of water-dropping planes, according to local media - is requesting global help to handle the fires.

Live footage showed thick plumes of smoke hanging low over Rafina, an area east of Athens which has a population of at least 20,000.

Local authorities said children's summer camps and a seaside resort for military officers were evacuated, while dozens of homes and cars were reportedly destroyed. Spain was sending two firefighting aircraft while Cyprus was sending in 60 firefighters.

"People can not tolerate so much smoke for so many hours", said Achilleas Tzouvaras, a senior fire chief, appalling to people to leave the area after some tried to stay put in their properties.

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