NEWS

Attica regional governor declares state of emergency

TAGS: Fires

Regional Governor Rena Dourou has declared a state of emergency for Western and Eastern Attica as two wildfires encircled the Greek capital, forcing hundreds to flee their homes.

The first fire broke out in a pine forest near the seaside settlement of Kineta 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of Athens between the capital and Corinth.

Three communities were evacuated and the blaze shut down a nearly 20-kilometer (13-mile) section on two highways linking the Peloponnese with central Greece. Thick smoke reduced visibility on the highway to mere meters (yards).

Several houses were in flames, footage from the Greek TV station Skai showed. Some residents used garden hoses to try to save their properties, while others escaped in cars and on mopeds.

The second major fire broke out Monday afternoon in the Penteli area northeast of Athens. Local authorities said they were evacuating children's summer camps, while dozens of homes and cars were reportedly destroyed.

The mayor of Rafina-Pikermi, Vangelis Bournos, says that at least three houses have been burned. [AP/Kathimerini]

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