Wednesday 17 July, 2019

The Latest: Italy offers water-dropping aircraft to Greece

A firefighter sprays water on the fire in the town of Mati, east of Athens, Monday, July 23, 2018. Regional authorities have declared a state of emergency in the eastern and western parts of the greater Athens area as fires fanned by gale-force winds raged through pine forests and seaside settlements on either side of the Greek capital.

A firefighter sprays water on the fire in the town of Mati, east of Athens, Monday, July 23, 2018. Regional authorities have declared a state of emergency in the eastern and western parts of the greater Athens area as fires fanned by gale-force winds raged through pine forests and seaside settlements on either side of the Greek capital.

Italy is offering two Canadair aircraft to help Greece battle wildfires that have killed dozens of people near Athens.

Premier Giuseppe Conte on Tuesday tweeted Italy's support for Greece and condolences for those who have died. He announced Italy was making the two water-dropping aircraft available.

Italy routinely experiences summertime wildfires, particularly in the south. Late Monday firefighters in Sicily brought the latest one under control near Acireale, with the help of two Canadairs.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has declared three days of national mourning for the dozens killed in the wildfires that swept through seaside areas near Athens. Many people fled to beaches, with some swimming out to sea to escape the choking smoke.

 

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