- Aniket Soni   19-06-2017


62 dead and counting by Raging forest fires in Portugal which happens to be the one of the worst such disasters in recent history. The fire broke out on Saturday in the municipality of Pedrogao Grande in central Portugal, before spreading fast across several fronts.
The stretch between Pedrogao Grande, Figueiro do Vinhos in west to Castanheira de Pera in north, which 24 hours before was blossoming with eucalyptus plants and pine trees was completely engulfed by the forest fire. A thick layer of white smoke covered either side of a national motorway for a distance of about 20 kilometres, as the burnt trees leant over the charred land.
Secretary of State for the Interior Jorge Gomes said more than 62 people were burned to death, most were killed intrapped in there cars, when they were trying to escape the fire. Most casualties and deaths were recorded from the fire in the Leiria region. More than 50 people were injured, with one child and four firefighters critically injured who are battling for their lives in the hospital.

"Unfortunately, this seems to be the greatest tragedy we have seen in recent years in terms of forest fires, The number of fatalities could still rise and the priority now is to save those people who could still be in danger, said the Prime Minister Antonio Costa, who therefore declared three days of mourning starting  Sunday.

 "France has offered three planes through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and they will be quickly sent to assist the local emergency effort ," EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said. Also Spain dispatched two water-bombing planes to assist the Portuguese fire service as per the officials.

Portugal was hit by a series of wild fires in 2016, which destroyed more than 100,000 hectares of the mainland. But this year the damage is more critical as approximately 60 forest fires flamed out across the country during the night, fire is still raging on four fronts with 2 fires spreading violently and around 1,700 firefighters trying their best to calm the fire and save lives

Dry thunderstorms across the country were founded to have been the cause of the wild fires, according to the prime minister.

The whole world is mourning for Portugal, also Pope Francis began his Angelus prayer soon after the tragedy.
"I express my closeness to the beloved people of Portugal following the devastating fire, let's pray in silence"." Francis said.