NEWS

Australia going through ‘hardest period of its history,’ Greek community leader says

TAGS: Fire, Diaspora

Ravaged by months-long bushfires, Australia is “going through the hardest period of its history,” the president of the Greek Community of Melbourne said on Tuesday.

“The death toll is already at 25. Authorities are warning that it will last at least another eight weeks and we are only at the beginning of the summer,” Vassilis Papastergiadis told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency’s Praktoreio radio station.

“Temperatures are at record high, more than 500 million animals have been killed, 2,400 homes have been destroyed and 10.3 million hectares of land is scorched,” he added.

“We often hear our compatriots in Greece expressing their support and we thank them for it,” Papastergiadis said, adding that the Greek Community of Melbourne is raising funds to help the relief effort.

Papastergiadis’ comments came shortly after the Greek Foreign Ministry issued a statement expressing its condolences to the families of the victims of the Australian wildfires.

“Deeply saddened by the loss of lives & devastating impact on wildlife & livelihoods caused by the continued wildfires in #Australia.We express our solidarity to all affected, the people & government of Australia & our heartfelt condolences to the victims’ families,” the ministry said in a post on Twitter on Sunday.

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