Anxious wait for news from town hit by Greek wildfires

- Advertisement -

Panny Agathangelou moved to Jersey in the 70s from Rafina – where the fire is currently raging.

Two blazes began near the country’s capital on Monday evening and have since claimed the lives of over 70 people, left over 100 injured and led to 700 people being rescued.

The incident, which is being dealt with by 600 firefighters, has been deemed so serious that a state of emergency has been declared and help has been sought from the European Union.

And Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has declared a three-day period of national mourning for those who have died.

Mr Agathangelou said he still knew lots of people in the affected area. ‘I have not been able to get hold of any of my close friends who I have known all of my life to see how they are,’ he said.

‘It is burning literally just a few miles away from where I lived. It would be like sitting at the Grand Hotel and watching St Aubin burn.

‘I have been reading about people trying to escape, huddling together in a field and then dying – it is just absolutely horrific.’

Mr Agathangelou, who lives in St Peter, added that he had planned to travel to Rafina for a family holiday this week but had to cancel after his daughter fell ill.

‘We go every year and I was due to be there now but my daughter fell ill and we could not go, otherwise we would have been staying in the actual spot where the fire was,’ he said.

‘It is really sad to think that the places we frequent, the bars and restaurants, are probably not there now.

‘It is not something that I have really thought about but I am grateful that my children and my wife were not there.’

The mayor of Rafina, Evangelos Bournous, said yesterday that he thought over 100 houses in his town had been completely burnt to the ground and blamed strong winds for the rapid spread of the fires.

‘We were unlucky. The wind changed and it came at us with such force that it razed the coastal area in minutes,’ he said.

Showers that passed over the Greek capital on Monday missed the fires but heavy rain was forecast across southern Greece today.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.