Portugal wildfire claims more than 62 lives

Published on : Tuesday, June 20, 2017

portugalDescribed as the “greatest wildfire tragedy of recent years”, Central Portugal witnessed a raging wildfire experience killing at least 62 people and injured dozens more.


The fires began on Saturday in the Pedrógão Grande region during an intense heatwave and rainless thunderstorms, with temperatures of more than 40C (104F) in some areas.


Two more central regions, Castelo Branco and Coimbra also reported outbreak.


Portuguese Interior Minister Constanca Urbano de Sousa said that eight firefighters are among the injured and four of them are in critical condition.


She asked the Portuguese to stop sending supplies as teams on the ground already had more than they could manage and the influx of water, food and medical equipment was creating logistical difficulties.


Interestingly, twelve people survived the fire by seeking refuge in a water tank after access to their village was cut off by the blaze.


Prime Minister António Costa visited some of the affected areas and urged people to follow the evacuation calls.


The European Commission said France and Spain have sent planes to help battle the blaze. Britain issued a travel warning for its citizens warning them of the fires in Portugal. It urged the travellers to be careful while visiting or driving through woodland areas.

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