Offers for help and condolences pour in as fire ravages Attica

Offers for help and condolences pour in as fire ravages Attica

Cyprus, Israel, Spain, Bulgaria, Italy, Germany, Poland and France have extended a helping hand to Greece as a fire that started on Monday in eastern Attica claimed 50 lives by Tuesday morning and injured more than 150 residents and visitors in the holiday resorts of Mati, Rafina, Neos Voutzas and Penteli.

“Israeli teams on are on alert and at the disposal of Greece if necessary,” the country's embassy in Athens said in an announcement on Tuesday.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov spoke with his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras by telephone and offered to send 50 firefighters and two fire engines, while Cyprus and Spain also sent equipment and personnel on Monday evening.

Planes, vehicles and firefighters have also been sent in by Greece's European Union partners.

Condolences also poured in as news of casualties started to break late on Monday, while in Athens, the Greek flag flew at half-mast on top of Parliament on Syntagma Square.

“Our thoughts are with Greece and with the victims of the terrible fires,” French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter.

“Very saddened by the tragic forest fires in Greece. Europe will stand by our Greek friends in these difficult times. Help is on its way from several EU countries,” European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted.

Tsipras also spoke on the telephone with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who offered resources as well as condolences, the ANA-MPA news agency reported.

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