Friday, September 29, 2023

18 bodies found in area struck by major wildfire: Greek govt

Greek firefighters found the bodies of 18 people in an area of northeastern Greece ravaged by a major wildfire burning for days, authorities said Tuesday.

Greek police activated the country’s Disaster Victim Identification Team to identify the bodies, which were found near a shack in the Avanta area in the northeastern Alexandroupolis region, Ioannis Artopios, a spokesman for the fire department, said in a televised statement. Given no reports of missing people had been filed in the area, authorities were examining the possibility that the casualties were migrants who had entered the country from the nearby border with Turkey, Artopios said. Hot, dry and windy conditions have seen dozens of wildfires break out across Greece, with the most severe entering its fourth day and encroaching on the northeastern port city of Alexandroupolis.

On Monday, two people died and two firefighters were injured in separate fires in northern and central Greece.
The fire risk level for several regions, including the wider Athens area, was listed as “extreme” for the second day Tuesday. Authorities have banned public access to mountains and forests in those regions until at least Wednesday morning and ordered military patrols.

In Spain’s Canary Islands, firefighters battled to control a wildfire burning for a week on the popular tourist destination of Tenerife. More than 12,000 people have been evacuated from their homes and nearly 15,000 hectares (37,000 acres) of pine forest and scrubland have been burned. Large parts of Spain were under alert for wildfire risk due to a heatwave that sent temperatures spiking over 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) in many areas.



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