by Aggelos Skordas
According to Greek Fire Brigade’s latest briefing the number of those killed by Monday’s wildfires in the region of Rafina, east of Athens, has risen furthermore to 81, as one more person -an 84-year-old man- died in the hospital and an elderly woman was found dead in her house, in the area of Mati on Wednesday afternoon. At the same time, the Service keeps receiving dozens of calls reporting missing persons, although their exact number remains unclear.
Two days after the seaside settlement of Mati was burned to ashes claiming tens of lives and thousands of properties rescuers continue a house-to-house search operation in an attempt to find people.
A group of volunteers have set up an electronic database with the names and photos of those missing, after Monday’s wildfires. So far, 30 missing people’s photos have been uploaded on the website (visit here: missingpeople.audax.gr), although unofficial information suggest that among them are people who have already been declared dead. Authorities urged people with missing relatives or friends to call the 199 hotline to provide rescuers with their names and descriptions.
Among those missing are 9-year-old twin sisters Sophia and Vasiliki Filippopoulou. The two siblings were seen by their father on television, on Monday night, as they were disembarking from a private vessel which participated in the rescue operations. The missing twins were escorted by a couple and they can be seen being assisted by rescue crews. That was the last time Sophia and Vasiliki were seen, as they are missing since. Their parents urge people who may have any piece of information regarding the girls’ fate to contact them.
According to Marathon Mayor Ilias Psinakis, 40 people are reported missing, although the number has not been confirmed by the Fire Brigade.
Authorities estimate that some 2,000 properties have been severely damaged, while more than 2,100 hectares of forestland have been scorched in Eastern Attica.