Greece on fire, death toll exceeds 60

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Fires continue to burn in Greece on Monday destroying everything in their path. Death toll has exceeded 60 with daily Greek newspapers Kathimerini and Ta Nea reporting 61 and 63 deaths respectively. Ancient Olympia, birthplace of the Olympics, was also threatened but firefighters kept the site safe. The new museum of Olympia was saved in the last minute but part of the ancient stadium was not spared.

The Greek Government has offered a €1 million reward for anyone providing information which leads to the arrest of an arsonist. A Greek government statement read: "The reward is set between 100,000 and 1m euros for every [act] of arson, depending on whether death or serious injury occurred and the size of the damage."

Government Criticism

The Greek government is under severe criticism for not doing enough to combat the raging fires. Greek newspaper Ta Nea is reporting that the government is facing collapse accusing it of lacking an organized plan to combat the fires. It adds that there are tens of reports resulting from witnesses that demonstrate the ad hoc movement of fire fighting forces but also tragically, an absence of a plan for evacuating villages resulting in the unnecessarily increased death toll.

Foreign Help

Emergency workers and fire-fighting planes from other European Union countries have joined the battle against the fires, and more help is expected from countries outside the EU.

List of affected areas

Updated on August 26, 2007 at 22:00

Arta: Under partial control.

Pella: Kleisohori village in flames.

Evros: Mikrakio in flames.

Ilia: New fires in Prasidaki, Bartholomio, Makistos, Sekoula, Lalas, Leprea, Fanari.

Messenia: Fires rage on in Tavgeto, Finikounta, Metaksades, Diavolitsi.

Laconia: Fronts in the areas of: Geraki, Kallithea, Platanaki, Palaioxori, Oitilos, Aeropoli.

Evia: Aliveri, Mesoxori, Traxili, Kremastos, Mistogeronta, Farana, Partheni, Gaia, Manikia.

Zakynthos: Fire in Alikana.

Arkadia: Araxomites, Asea, Leontari, Mavriki, Makrisi.

Corinth: Improvement in sofiko, fires still burning in Kalentzi, Halki, Soulinari, Agia Triada, Milea.

Argolis: Fire burning in the area of Lefkakia.

Phthiotis: Perivoli, Asvestis, Dilofo, Zilefto.

Thesprotia: Under partial control the fire in Tsamanda.

Viotia: Kanalaki, Mazi.

Corfu: New fire in the area of porta.

Sources

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