Greek soccer team Olympiacos and its owner Evangelos Marinakis are donating 1 million euros (about $1.1 million) to help people affected by the country’s wildfires, the club announced Tuesday.
They’re also opening bank accounts, so the team's fans can make donations.
Around 500 firefighters are currently battling the five deadly major wildfires around Greece, a fire official said.
There are 71 adults and 11 children who have been hospitalized as a result of the fires across Greece, Greek National Fire Brigade spokeswoman Stavroula Malliri said Tuesday. They are among the 164 adults and 23 children she described as injured earlier.
One fire is to the east of Athens near Kineta; one to the west of Athens in Kallitexnoupolis, near Mati; one near Corinth and two in Crete in the Chania region.
Around 500 firefighters are battling these 5 major fires in different parts of the country, she said.
The search for missing people is being carried out by patrol groups of 130 people from the Armed Forces and the Fire Brigade in the areas of Neos Voutzas, Mati and Rafina, she added.
At least 74 people have died in the wildfires near Athens, Greece.
The fires are the deadliest to have hit the country since blazes that burned through the southern Peloponnese in August 2007, killing dozens.
In addition to the deaths, officials report that...
- At least 164 adults have been injured.
- 23 children have been hurt.
- 715 people have been evacuated, mainly from the area of Mati.
Wildfires have also hit the western coast of Attica coast. Alexis Kastanias filmed video of smoke billowing from wildfire over the town of Kineta, where he owns a beach home.
"The sky was yellow from ashes. It was scary,” he told CNN.
He later went to check his house and took a video of flames and smoke engulfing trees there:
There are slight chances for rain in the forecast for Athens this week. Most of the rain chances are at least 30%, with Thursday looking like the most likely day for rainfall.
But that's not 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.
Here's the forecast radar:
Anastasiya Pontikas, 32, and her husband live in Rafina, a port town on Greece’s eastern coast which has been heavily hit by wildfires.
She fled her home yesterday and tried to escape to the beach — but traffic made it impossible. They took shelter in a parking lot instead, where she shot video of the scene.
She said the fire stopped about 100 meters, or more than 300 feet.
"When we came back home to see what happened, all the trees in our street were still on fire," she said.
Here's the video she took:
As wildfires rage in Greece's Attica region, strong winds over 60 mph (or more than 100 kph) near Athens fanned the flames — increasing their intensity and coverage.
Government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said the winds made firefighters' efforts more challenging.
Winds of 102 kph (about 63 mph) were reported in Athens on Monday.
Here's a NASA satellite image from yesterday...
- The red dots are fire locations
- The bright white is clouds
- The grey is smoke blowing to the east from the fires
A wildfire burning near Rafina, a port town that sits on the Greece's eastern coast, is sending plumes of along the water, swallowing homes and massive yachts parked nearby.
Instagram video shot by Panos Moschonas shows the scene.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has announced three days of national mourning “in the memory of those who were lost” to the wildfires.
“There are no words to describe the feelings of all of us, these times. The country is going through a tragedy,” Tsipras said during a televised address on Tuesday.
He added that the events were “unbearable for everyone.”
Tsipras also thanked foreign leaders for reaching “expressing solidarity” with Greece during “one of the toughest moments.”