18 burned bodies found in Greece wildfires

The Greek authorities have found 18 burned bodies as wildfires scorch a portion of northeastern mainland Greece.

The fire brigade said there had been no reports of missing residents, adding the bodies of those found could be immigrants who have recently entered Greece from Turkey.

The country’s Disaster Victim Identification Team has been drafted in to identify the bodies, which were found near a shack in the Avanta area.

Hundreds of migrants from the Middle East and Asia use the Evros river, which separates Greece from Turkey, to cross into the European Union.

Wildfires around the Greek port city of Alexandroupolis blazed uncontrolled for their fourth day on Tuesday, with hundreds of firefighters struggling to contain the flames that broke out on Saturday and rapidly spread.

They were fuelled by gale-force winds that fanned smoke above the city, as the night sky turned vivid shades of red.

Officials said 65 patients at the University Hospital of Alexandroupolis had been moved out the building by early Tuesday morning as a precaution onto a ferry in the port.

Another 14 people were rescued by a coast guard vessel from the nearby village of Makri.

“Under extreme weather conditions, mainly due to gale-force winds, a huge effort has been made to manage fire fronts that broke out simultaneously in many parts of the country,” fire brigade spokesperson Ioannis Artopios said late on Monday.

“The hours we are going through are extremely critical.”

Several other communities in the same region, Evros, which borders Turkey, have also been evacuated.

Authorities warned the risk of new fires remained high in the coming days.

Greece has long suffered summer wildfires. But scientists say hot and dry conditions that fuel fires have been exacerbated by climate change.

More than 20,000 foreign tourists had to be evacuated from the holiday island of Rhodes in July as wildfires burned for a week, destroying hotels and resorts.

Fires also raged this week in Greece’s northern seaside city of Kavala, on the island of Evia near Athens, and on the island of Kythnos and in Viotia in central Greece.

Sky News

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