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More Greek residents forced to abandon homes

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More Greek residents forced to abandon homes


It has become a familiar, agonising scene across Greece: more distraught residents are being forced to abandon their homes threatened by deadly wild fires. An estimated 90 different blazes are raging for a fourth day, with the official death toll now reaching 63.

The country’s worst summer fires in decades have left a trail of destruction in various regions including the southern Peloponnese peninsula, Attica and the island of Evia. The government is offering a reward of one million euros for help to track down arsonists whom it believes are behind the fires.

Yesterday, firefighters and volunteers managed to save the temples and stadiums of Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games. The country’s culture minister visited the scene, relieved to be told that the historic site and its museum are undamaged.

As thousands of people flee destroyed villages, foreign firefighters have been arriving to support overstretched local brigades. Help has come from as far away as Canada, Israel, Serbia, and Norway. Russia and the US have also been called on to provide assistance.

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