Fires continue to devastate much of Greece a day after the government declared a nationwide state of emergency. More than fifty people have been killed but the toll is likely to rise as authorities say it’s impossible to know how many homes have been destroyed. Thousands have been forced to flee their villages while those who’ve stayed are struggling to put out the flames with anything they can lay their hands on. A raging forest fire threatened the outskirts of ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games but stopped short of the historic site. Elsewhere, strong winds have increased the infernos which have cut a swathe of destruction through the southern Peloponnese peninsula towards the western Ionian coast.
The Greek prime minister has blamed the level of destruction on arsonists. So far three people have been arrested. With new fires still breaking out, emergency services are stretched beyond their limits. However many people say the government’s rescue efforts have concentrated on areas close to the capital while their homes have been left to burn.