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Greece is burning!

July 25, 2018 08:01 IST
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Raging wildfires have killed 74 people including small children in Greece, devouring homes and forests, in what officials are calling the worst fires the country has seen in a decade.

Around 500 firefighters, aircraft and helicopters have been mobilised to tackle the fires, while a state of emergency was declared in western and eastern Attica.

Take a look at the devastation the fires have brought on in Greece.

The first fire broke out in a pine forest near the seaside settlement of Kineta 50 kilometre west of Athens between the capital and Corinth. Major fires broke out Monday afternoon in the area northeast of Athens (Penteli, Viotza, Mati, Rafina, and Agios Andreas). Photograph: Costas Baltas/Reuters

According to latest reports, 74 people including small children in Greece have died while another 172 people have been injured. Photograph: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

The fire is so severe that the mayor of a town called Rafina said that Mati, another village no longer existed. Photograph: Costas Baltas/Reuters

Government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said "15 fires had started simultaneously on three different fronts in Athens" on Monday. Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras also cut short his visit to Bosnia to return home and has announced a three-day mourning period. Photograph: Costas Baltas/Reuters

The number of casualties could rise further as more gutted homes and cars were checked, the emergency services warned. Photograph: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

Descrbing the devastation, Red Cross spokeswoman Georgia Trisbioti said, "People are shocked, lost. Some of them have lost everything: children, parents, homes." Photograph: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

Burned-out cars were scattered outside gated compounds where three- and four-storey buildings bore signs of fire damage. Photograph: Costas Baltas/Reuters

Orange flames have reduced thousands of homes to ash, causing damage that could easily run into millions of euros. Photograph: Costas Baltas/Reuters

Coastguard vessels and other boats rescued almost 700 people who had managed to get to the shoreline and plucked another 19 survivors and four dead bodies from the sea where they had fled to save themselves, the coastguard said. Photograph: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

Ambulance Service deputy director Miltiadis Mylonas said the death toll is likely to rise. Photograph: Costas Baltas/Reuters

The European Union activated its Civil Protection Mechanism after Greece sought help. Several countries said they were sending aircraft to help fight the flames. European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted Tuesday that the EU "will spare no effort to help Greece and the Greek people". Photograph: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

Fires are a common problem in Greece during the summer. Blazes in 2007 on the southern island of Evia claimed 77 lives. Photograph: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

Wildfires have also caused widespread damage in northern Europe in recent days. Sweden, Finlands, Norway, Latvia have also witnessed fires in the recent times. Photograph: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

There are slight chances for rain in forecast for Athens this week. Most of the rain chances are at least 30 per cent, with Thursday looking like the most likely day for rainfall. But that's necessarily good news: These will be hit-and-miss afternoon-type storms, and they will not produce too much rainfall. In fact, they can end up making firefighting efforts harder by increasing winds and swirling the wind directions. Photograph: GIANNIS LABROPOULOS/Reuters

Local authorities have urged residents to evacuate. 715 people have been evacuated, mainly from the area of Mati. Photograph: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters
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