Greek wildfires toll rises to 79 amid search for survivors

A woman walks past burnt cars in the village of Mati- where at least 26 people died

The fires, which started on Monday in the mountains overlooking Kineta, located 54 kilometres west of Athens, saw a state of emergency declared with locals advised by authorities to flee to safety.

"I ran out like a insane person, got to the beach and put my head in the water".

Citing police, ERT television said that some 300 residents of several villages in East Attica were trapped in their homes by the fires.

Ms Holohan, who works in advertising for the Sunday World, is in hospital after suffering burns to her head and hands, but her husband has not yet been found.

The disaster has been described as a "national tragedy", with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announcing three days of national mourning.

On Monday night, hundreds of firefighters battled the flames, which were fanned by winds of up to 100km/h (60mph).

The coastguard and other ships have rescued nearly 700 people who fled the coast by jumping into the ocean, and pulled survivors and bodies from the sea, the BBC reported.

The fires, which engulfed homes and vehicles, started burning out of control on both sides of Athens on Monday, with the areas around Rafina and Kineta being the hardest-hit.

Tzanakopoulos, the government spokesman, said 715 people were evacuated from beaches and coastline by navy vessels, yachts and fishing boats.

Families had to be rescued by boats after fleeing flames into the sea
Families had to be rescued by boats after fleeing flames into the sea

"What upsets me and what I will carry in my heart is that it is bad to see the person next to you drowning and not being able to help him".

Wildfires raged through seaside resorts near the Greek capital of Athens, torching homes, cars and forests as they killed at least 74 people, authorities said Tuesday.

Fire department spokeswoman Stavroula Malliri said that 156 adults and 16 children have been taken to hospital with injuries.

A satellite map of the area revealed the scale of the fire damage, showing that more than half the 12,760 acres affected were residential areas. It saved my life. "I soaked it, grabbed my wife and we ran to the sea". "It's just that we can't find her".

Rescue crews have been searching through charred homes and cars for those still missing after the deadliest wildfires to hit Greece in decades decimated seaside areas near Athens, killing at least 80 people and sending thousands fleeing. The other ones that did not know how to swim, we do not know if they are there, if they are alive and what happened. "We are dealing with something completely asymmetrical", Tsipras said.

"We left at the last minute".

In all, 47 brush and forest fires broke out across Greece on Monday and early Tuesday, with a lot of them quickly extinguished, the fire department said.

Heavy rain is forecast across southern Greece today, which it is hoped will help the firefighting effort.

"The problem is what is still hidden under the ashes", said Vice President of Emergency Services Miltiadis Mylonas.

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