No end to woes of locals in fire-ravaged Mati

No end to woes of locals in fire-ravaged Mati

As the toll from last month’s wildfires in east Attica Thursday climbed to 98 with the death of an 83-year-old woman at an Athens hospital, residents at the seaside town of Mati, which suffered the biggest losses, continue to face significant challenges.

Beyond delays in the subsidies promised by the government, residents are also voicing serious concerns that the blaze unleashed large amounts of toxic asbestos as it burned through buildings.

A local citizens’ group in Mati issued an announcement Thursday claiming that inspections of just one small part of Mati by specialists revealed some 5,000 square meters of roof sheeting that contains asbestos, both in condemned properties and in some that have been deemed structurally sound.

The group added fears that large quantities of building materials containing the banned substance have been cut away, swept up and thrown out with other debris destined for landfills.

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