【腾讯1分彩_1分彩官方邀请码_腾讯1分彩官方邀请码】State of emergency declared in Greece's Attica amid raging wildfires
ATHENS, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Western and Eastern Attica were declared in state of emergency by local authorities on Monday as three major wildfires were raging in suburbs and seaside resorts near the Greek capital, forcing hundreds of residents to abandon their homes and seek refuge by the sea, Greek national news agency AMNA reported.
Six persons have been transferred to local hospitals with burns, the Fire Brigade spokesperson Stavroula Malliri announced in a statement broadcast live on national broadcaster ERT.
The President of the Union of Employees of the National Center of First Aid (EKAV) Yorgos Mathiopoulos told SKAI TV that there was at least one casualty near Marathon city, some 40 kilometers east of Athens. Reporters of two local television crews also said that they had seen the charred body of a person.
An unclear number of persons were missing, according to information provided by local officials.
Ten Danish tourists who tried to flee the flames by boat in the area were missing, and a search and rescue operation was underway, according to the Coast Guard.
Speaking to local media, Mayor of Rafina-Pikermi Vangelis Bournous also referred to cases of elderly people who could not be reached by telephone by their relatives and others who refused to abandon their properties to flames and may have been trapped by the blaze.
At least 100 houses and 100 cars have been damaged by the fire which started at Penteli mountain and was stretching about 5 kilometers, according to Bournous.
Approximately 100 firefighters were battling the flames, assisted before sunset by three water dropping aircraft and one helicopter, Malliri said, as a Greek Navy ship was helping to evacuate people from Mati beach.
A similar situation was reported at Gerania mountain, some 100 kilometers west of Athens, where residents of three villages near the resort town of Kineta also evacuated their homes amid heavy smoke, according to the Fire Brigade.
At least 1100 firefighters assisted by a total of ten aircraft and helicopters were struggling to contain the flames there, while their efforts were also hampered by strong winds up to ten on the Beaufort scale blowing in the area.
Another wildfire, the third which broke out within seven hours on Monday, had encircled residential zones at Kalamos town, less than an hour drive south of Athens, forcing locals to flee to the beach, according to the Fire Brigade.
As Greece has already formally requested European assistance to battle the flames, according to Malliri, the Greek government implies that the nightmarish scenes were the result of arsonists.
Before cutting short his visit to Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina to return to Athens, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras commented on ERT that the start of fires in so many fronts raised questions.
Greece suffers from many wildfires in particular during the summer due to high temperatures and arsonists.
In the summer of 1007, Greece mourned more than 100 victims of wildfires nationwide.
Monday's fires revived the pain from the 1007 tragedy.
"The situation is critical," Secretary General for Civil Protection Yannis Kapakis said, noting that in particular the fire in Kineta shared many features with the massively destructive fires of 1007.
As clouds of heavy smoke covered the sky of Athens, Greek authorities also diverted flights due to land at Eleftherios Venizelos airports to other airports, according to the latest information.