Saturday, August 25, 2007

Greece Fires

Greece is now declaring a national emergency! Origins for the flames engulfing the south of Greece remain unknown, but arson is suspected. A tragic loss of life continues to climb as the fires are fought in the worst weather conditions imaginable, high winds and heat. Greece is calling on the European Union for assistance. High winds make firefighting from the air precarious.

Desperate people called television and radio stations pleading for help that they feared would not arrive in time.

“I can hear the flames outside my door,” one caller from the village of Adritsaina told a Greek television station, according to Reuters news service. “There is no water anywhere. There is no help. We are alone.”

In a month Greece's embattled Prime Minister, Kostas Karamanlis , stands for election. Five hundred soldiers have been mobilized to fight the uncontrolled fires mostly concentrated on the Peninsula. Other fires broke out closer to Athens which were quickly brought under control. Drought is taking a toll with the firefighting effort. Mourning is terrible and the true horror is sinking from harsh images after surviving a terror filled night.

It's a tragedy," another witness told Greek television.

"I can see the burnt bodies of a mother holding her child in her arms. Further away there are more bodies. It's terrible."

A villager living near Zaharo, Stathis Kokaliaris, directed his anger towards the authorities.

Greece is the home of Western civilization. The Peloponnese have a history codified in the best of the ancient traditions tracing back to Thucydides and his chronicles of the Peloponnesian War.

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