Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

ALEXANDROUPOLIS, Greece — Greek firefighters discovered the our bodies of 18 individuals in an space of northeastern Greece ravaged by a serious wildfire burning for days, authorities mentioned Tuesday.

Greek police activated the nation’s Catastrophe Sufferer Identification Workforce to establish the our bodies, which have been discovered close to a shack within the Avanta space within the northeastern Alexandroupolis area, Ioannis Artopios, a spokesman for the hearth division, mentioned in a televised assertion.

Given no reviews of lacking individuals had been filed within the space, authorities have been analyzing the chance that the casualties have been migrants who had entered the nation from the close by border with Turkey, Artopios mentioned.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. The next is AP’s earlier story.

A whole bunch of firefighters struggled Tuesday to regulate main wildfires burning uncontrolled for days in northeastern Greece and on Tenerife in Spain’s Canary Islands, with robust winds fanning the flames and prompting evacuations of villages and a metropolis hospital in Greece.

Scorching, dry and windy situations have seen dozens of wildfires get away throughout Greece, with essentially the most extreme getting into its fourth day and encroaching on the northeastern port metropolis of Alexandroupolis. On Monday, two individuals died and two firefighters have been injured in separate fires in northern and central Greece.

The fireplace threat stage for a number of areas, together with the broader Athens space, was listed as “excessive” for the second day Tuesday. Authorities have banned public entry to mountains and forests in these areas till a minimum of Wednesday morning and ordered army patrols.

In Spain’s Canary Islands, firefighters battled to regulate a wildfire burning for every week on the favored vacationer vacation spot of Tenerife. Greater than 12,000 individuals have been evacuated from their properties and almost 15,000 hectares (37,000 acres) of pine forest and scrubland have been burned. Giant elements of Spain have been beneath alert for wildfire threat as a consequence of a heatwave that despatched temperatures spiking over 38 levels Celsius (100 levels Fahrenheit) in lots of areas.

In northeastern Greece, a large wall of flames raced via forests towards Alexandroupolis in a single day, prompting authorities to evacuate one other eight villages and town’s hospital. The flames turned the sky over town and throughout the area pink, hiding the solar as choking smoke and swirling flecks of ash stuffed the air.

About 65 of the greater than 100 sufferers within the hospital have been transported to a ferry boat docked within the metropolis’s port, whereas others have been taken to different hospitals in northern Greece. The ferry set sail later Tuesday morning to move the sufferers west to the port city of Kavala, the place they have been to be transferred to a different hospital.

Deputy Well being Minister Dimitris Vartzopoulos, talking on Greece’s Skai tv, mentioned smoke and ash within the air across the Alexandrouplolis hospital was the principle motive behind the choice to evacuate the ability.

“We evacuated inside 4 hours,” Vartzopoulos mentioned.

A faculty, a number of properties and a cemetery have been broken in two villages close to Alexandroupolis, the place greater than 200 firefighters have been battling the flames, supported by 4 airplanes and three helicopters. Dozens extra homes have been broken by one other wildfire within the Kavala area, native authorities mentioned. A separate hearth within the Evros border area was burning via forest in a protected nationwide park, with satellite tv for pc imagery displaying smoke from the Evros area blanketing a lot of northern and western Greece.

Close to Athens, a brand new hearth broke out within the Aspropyrgos space on the capital’s western fringes Tuesday morning, prompting authorities to challenge evacuation orders for 2 villages within the space.

Romania despatched 56 firefighters and Cyprus ship two water-dropping plane to assist struggle the wildfire in Alexandroupolis, whereas French firefighters helped sort out a separate hearth on the island of Evia.

Greece suffers damaging wildfires each summer season. Its deadliest wildfire killed 104 individuals in 2018, at a seaside resort close to Athens that residents had not been warned to evacuate. Authorities have since erred on the facet of warning, issuing swift mass evacuation orders every time inhabited areas are beneath risk.

Final month, a wildfire on the resort island of Rhodes pressured the evacuation of some 20,000 vacationers. Days later, two air power pilots have been killed when their water-dropping airplane crashed whereas diving low to sort out a blaze on Evia. One other three wildfire-related deaths have been recorded this summer season.

With their sizzling, dry summers, southern European international locations are notably vulnerable to wildfires.

In Italy, authorities evacuated 700 individuals from properties and a campsite on the Tuscan island of Elba after a fireplace broke out late Monday. Two plane have been serving to douse the blaze, which consumed 5 hectares on the favored vacationer island.


Becatoros reported from Athens, Greece. Joe Wilson in Barcelona and Colleen Barry in Milan contributed.


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