What is happening in eastern Attica is a black hell. Have you heard about the tragedy of the wildfire spreading in Athens, Greece? If not, carry not reading.
Firstly, wildfire is basically a large, destructive fire that spreads quickly over woodland or brush. However, this fire season has become is the deadliest in decades.
Fire swept through the village 40km (25 miles) north-east of Athens on Monday and was still burning in some areas on Tuesday.
Fires are a recurring problem during the hot, dry summer months in Attica.
Officials quoted by AFP news agency have suggested the current blazes may have been started by arsonists looking to loot abandoned homes.
“Fifteen fires had started simultaneously on three different fronts in Athens,” said government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos.
As wind-fueled wildfires that killed at least 79 people in vacation areas outside Athens bore down on their seaside resort, 26 men, women and children gathered in the hope that they could find the narrow path leading to a small staircase down to the water.
The gated entrance stood only a dozen paces away, but with smoke blotting their vision and choking their lungs, they appear to have lost their way. Officials found their bodies the next day, Tuesday; several were still clinging to one another.
Greek authorities are looking for dozens of people missing after the deadly and catastrophic wildfires near Athens. After At least 79 people have died, and a search continues for survivors who fled the blaze, including those who took to the sea. More than 170 others have been hospitalized with burns and other injuries.
Furthermore, the blaze struck like a flamethrower, causing both smoke inhalation and skin burns. Coastal patrol boats and private vessels picked up hundreds of those who did manage to reach harbours or beaches.
Flames fanned by strong winds devastated the seaside village of Mati, devouring homes and cars. The coastguard said it and other ships rescued almost 700 people who had fled to the coast, and pulled 19 survivors and four bodies from the sea.
Desperate families in need were trying their hardest to reach the safety of the sea were trapped by walls of smoke and flame. They just couldn’t make it. Others died in buildings or cars.
The blaze has created such thick smoke that the main highways between the Peloponnese and the Greek mainland have been shut down and an orange haze has descended on Athens.
The first fire broke out in a pine forest near the seaside settlement of Kineta 50km west of Athens between the capital and Corinth. At least 150 firefighters were on the scene while five water-dropping planes and seven helicopters helped to fight the blaze from the air.
According to BBC.UK, after the 26 bodies were found in an open space, Nikos Economopoulos, head of Greece’s Red Cross, said: “They had tried to find an escape route but unfortunately these people and their kids didn’t make it in time. Instinctively, seeing the end nearing, they embraced.”
Mati is located in the Rafina region which is popular with local tourists, especially pensioners and children attending holiday camps. Rescuers there found the bodies of 26 adults and children, who had apparently hugged each other as they died, trapped just metres from the sea. It is devastating and heartbreaking how these people couldn’t make it.
High winds spread the fire, trapping many in homes and vehicles and forcing others into the water as they tried to escape the flames.
One of the survivors claimed that the village has disappeared which more than 1,000 buildings had been destroyed or damaged!
Hundreds of firefighters have been battling the blazes and the authorities are seeking international assistance. A fire brigade official confirmed the latest death toll.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has declared three days of national mourning.
Prime Minister Tsipras has declared a state of emergency in Attica, saying all emergency services had been mobilised.
According to the BBC.UK, a spokesperson for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Georgia Trismpioti, told the BBC some people had lost everything, “The death toll rises every hour, many people lost their loved ones, many people lost their houses, lost everything, and they will need long-term support in order to recover.”
We, the What’s Up Cairo Team, wish all those survivors a speedy recovery and all those families mourning for losing their beloved ones to stay strong and we’re all here for you!