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Tragic Wildfire In Greece: In Search Of Missing Families After 79 People Confirmed Dead

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Tragic Wildfire

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!

Nadia Haitham, who is a sixteen year old teenager, fantasizes and creates images in people’s minds using written words. She has always admired the idea of writing ever since she was a little girl with piggy tails and somehow, she’s chasing her dream! Nadia is currently an IGCSE student in The Continental School Of Cairo and she’s in the eleventh grade. They say Nadia is too young but she asks repeatedly, “if I don’t start now, then when?!” She blows her candles on the fifteenth of July, her zodiac sign is Cancer and she’s Egyptian. In 2015, she has written her first completed book that’s called, “Love Of A Teenage Girl” which is published on a writing website called, Wattpad. She has won several awards for the book which she’s planning to publish in the future. Nadia has also written a few other books and created quotes of her own but she hasn’t completed them yet but she’s planning to. She’s into music and learning something new every single day using the help of the social media world. She believes that writing is an underestimated art, it’s exactly like painting colorful images in people’s minds by using words of black and white.

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Egypt Jumps Ten Places in ‘Global Knowledge Index’ in Only One Year

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Egypt has jumped 10 places in just a year in the 2020 Global Knowledge Index (GKI), according to three infographics released by the Egyptian Cabinet’s Information and Decision Support Center.

The index, which gets issued every year by the United Nations Development Programme and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, shows that Egypt has moved from the 82nd place to the 72nd in only one year.

The rankings are based on a survey done on the knowledge performance of 138 countries in 7 areas and 199 indicators. Egypt has shown great advancement in all areas, it moves 23 ranks up in the area of Technical and Vocational Education and Training and 11 ranks up in Pre-University Education.

The index also highlighted Egypt’s points of strength in education sector, which included higher enrollment in universities and a significant decline in out-of-school children. There’s also an increase in the number of students enrolling in vocational and technical schools.

Switzerland, the United States, and Finland came on top of the 2020 index.

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Egypt Set to Build Its First Train Factory in Port Said

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Egypt’s Ministry of Planning and Economic Development has announced that Egypt is planning on building its very first train factory in Port Said.

The factory will build EMUs, DMUs and monorail trains in East Port Said industrial zone.

The Ministry made the announcement on the 16th of September in a meeting attended between the minister of planning and economic development, Dr Hala El-Said, transport minister Major General Kamel El-Wazir and chairman of the Suez Canal Economic Zone Authority, Mr Yahia Zaki.

The meeting went over the project’s implementation plan and the possible outputs of the factory.

Egyptian Railways Services and Maintenance Company (Ermas) will most probably run the new plant in cooperation with the private sector including a number of international companies, such as the Suez Canal Economic Zone, and Egypt’s Sovereign Fund.

According to El-Waziri, the factory is seen as part of a localizing initiative that aims at producing railway equipment locally, in order to meet the rising demand both domestically and in Africa and on the Arabian peninsula.

The factory will help boost the Egyptian economy, in addition to generating hard currency and providing job opportunities.

 

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AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine Shows 90% Effectiveness With No Serious Side Effects

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AstraZeneca announced today the effectiveness of its Covid-19 vaccine and it turned out to be around 90% effective with no serious side effects!

According to data from the late-stage trials in Britain and Brazil, the vaccine, which is developed by Oxford University, has shown 90% effectiveness after being administered as a a half dose followed by a full dose at least one month apart.

“This vaccine’s efficacy and safety confirm that it will be highly effective against COVID-19 and will have an immediate impact on this public health emergency,” Pascal Soriot, Astra’s chief executive, said in a statement.

British Prime minister Boris Johnson said it was “incredibly exciting news the Oxford vaccine has proved so effective in trials.”

The next step now is for the company to start preparing regulatory submission of the data to authorities across the world that have a framework in place for conditional or early approval.

It will also seek an emergency use listing from the World Health Organization (WHO) to speed up availability in countries with low income. In parallel, the full analysis of the interim results is being submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

With both Oxford’s and Pfizer’s vaccines, we can be hopeful that the new year will come bearing good news!

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