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Greek PM Declares National Emergency as Fires Claim 46 Lives

  • VOA News

The Greek government has declared a state of emergency for the entire country after forest fires killed at least 46 people in the south.

Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said on Saturday that the measure is aimed at mobilizing all resources to fight the fires.

More than 170 forest fires have swept through the Peloponnese and other regions since Friday, trapping people in remote villages.

The deadliest blaze burned in the western village of Zakharo where fire killed more than 30 people.

Mr. Karamanlis called on all Greek citizens and European Union nations to help.

Greece has experienced an unprecedented outbreak of wild fires this year, brought on by a combination of soaring temperatures, hot winds and months of drought. But authorities suspect that arsonists have started some of the fires.

Associated Press news agency quoted a fire department spokesman Nikos Diamandis as saying that police arrested a 65-year old man and charged him with arson and multiple death in the deadly fire in Aeropolis, in the southern Peloponnese.
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