Yahoo! News Photo Staff

Deadly wildfires ravage coastal region near Athens, killing dozens

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Sorrow became tinged with anger in Greece on Thursday as rescuers searched scorched land and the coastline for survivors, three days after a wildfire destroyed a small town outside Athens and killed at least 83 people.

Desperate relatives appeared on television to plead for information on those missing, while other residents of Mati asked why authorities had been unable to prevent so many of their neighbors from getting trapped by a wall of flame in streets with no exit route.

With the toll from Greeceā€™s deadliest wildfire in decades expected to rise further, about 300 firemen and volunteers combed the area for dozens still missing.

The cause of the fire is still unclear, and being investigated by an Athens prosecutor who is also reviewing the way it was handled.

Local officials said high and unpredictable winds would have rendered even the best-executed evacuation plan futile, though firefighters told Reuters that some water hydrants in the area were empty. (Reuters)

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An aerial photo shows burnt houses and trees following a wildfire in Mati, east of Athens on July 25, 2018. (Photo: Antonis Nikolopoulos/Eurokinissi via AP)


Members of a rescue team carry an injured woman in Mati, east of Athens, Wednesday, July 25, 2018. (Photo: Thanassis Stavrakis/AP)


An electricity pole stands among burnt trees following a wildfire in Neos Voutzas, near Athens, Greece, July 25, 2018. (Photo: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)


Girogos Handrinos stands outside his burned house in Mati, east of Athens, Thursday, July 26, 2018. (Photo: Thanassis Stavrakis/AP)


Aerial view of the area after a wildfire, in Mati, Greece July 24, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media July 26, 2018. (Photo: Flygreecedrone via Reuters)


A woman tries to find her belongings underneath the debris of her burnt house following a wildfire at the village of Neos Voutzas, near Athens, on July 25, 2018. (Photo: Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty Images)


A volunteer prepares bags of supplies for residents of areas that were struck by a wildfire in Nea Makri, near Athens, Greece, July 25, 2018. (Photo: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)


Girogos Handrinos stands outside his burned house in Mati, east of Athens, Thursday, July 26, 2018. (Photo: Thanassis Stavrakis/AP)


A fireplace is seen inside a burnt house following a wildfire at the village of Mati, near Athens, Greece, July 25, 2018. (Photo: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)


Firefighters carry a stretcher filled with body bags, following a wildfire at the village of Mati, near Athens, Greece, July 24, 2018. (Photo: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)


Tables and chairs of a seaside cafe are seen burnt following a wildfire at the village of Mati, near Athens, Greece, July 24, 2018. (Photo: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)


People are seen as a wildfire burns in Mati, Greece July 23, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media on July 24, 2018. (Photo: Kalogerikos Nikos via Reuters)


A woman reacts as she stands amid the charred remains of burned-out cars in Mati east of Athens, Tuesday, July 24, 2018. (Photo: Thanassis Stavrakis/AP)


A fire-damaged car is parked on a hill overlooking the village of Neos Voutzas near Athens, Tuesday, July 24, 2018. (Photo: Thanassis Stavrakis/AP)


A woman reacts as she stands amid the charred remains of burned-out cars in Mati east of Athens, Tuesday, July 24, 2018. (Photo: Thanassis Stavrakis/AP)


Burned-out cars stand outside an apartment block in Mati east of Athens, Tuesday, July 24, 2018. (Photo: Thanassis Stavrakis/AP)


People stand amid the charred remains of burned-out cars in Mati east of Athens, Tuesday, July 24, 2018. (Photo: Thanassis Stavrakis/AP)


A firefighting helicopter flies above burned-out cars in Mati east of Athens, Tuesday, July 24, 2018. (Photo: Thanassis Stavrakis/AP)


Rescuers arrive at the area where bodies were found following a wildfire at the village of Mati, near Athens, Greece, July 24, 2018. (Photo: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)


A woman reacts as she tries to find her dog, following a wildfire at the village of Mati, near Athens, Greece, July 24, 2018. (Photo: Costas Baltas/Reuters)


A man collects belongings after a forest fire in Kineta village, west of Athens, Tuesday, July 24, 2018. (Photo: Yorgos Karahalis/AP)


A house burns following a wildfire at Neos Voutzas, near Athens, Greece, July 24, 2018. (Photo: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)


A woman speaks on the phone as she stands next to a burned apartment, following a wildfire at the village of Mati, near Athens, Greece, July 24, 2018. (Photo: Costas Baltas/Reuters)


A firefighter walks among burned cars, following a wildfire at the village of Mati, near Athens, Greece, July 24, 2018. (Photo: Costas Baltas/Reuters)


Melted aluminium from cars is seen on the ground following a wildfire at the village of Mati, near Athens, Greece, July 24, 2018. (Photo: Costas Baltas/Reuters)


A local walks on a burnt slope following a wildfire at the village of Mati, near Athens, Greece, July 24, 2018. (Photo: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)


Locals wearing masks walk among burnt cars following a wildfire at the village of Mati, near Athens, Greece, July 24, 2018. (Photo: Costas Baltas/Reuters)


A firefighter tries to extinguish hotspots during a wildfire in Kineta, near Athens, on July 23, 2018. (Photo: Valerie Gache/AFP/Getty Images)


Firefighters, soldiers and local residents carry a hose as a wildfire burns in the town of Rafina, near Athens, Greece, July 23, 2018. (Photo: Costas Baltas/Reuters)


A firefighter sprays water on the fire in the town of Mati, east of Athens, Monday, July 23, 2018. (Photo: Thanassis Stavrakis/AP)


Melted aluminium from cars is seen on the ground following a wildfire at the village of Mati, near Athens, Greece, July 24, 2018. (Photo: Costas Baltas/Reuters)


A man holding a dog pushes an inflatable boat as locals are evacuated during a wildfire at the village of Mati, near Athens, Greece, July 23, 2018. (Photo: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)


A firefighter wears a flame resistant uniform as wildfire burns in the town of Rafina, near Athens, Greece, July 23, 2018. (Photo: Costas Baltas/Reuters)


A house burns as a wildfire rages at the village of Mati, near Athens, Greece, July 23, 2018. (Photo: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)


A woman walks in front of burnt cars at the village of Mati during a wildfire near Athens, on July 23, 2018. (Photo: Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty Images)


Locals try to extinguish a fire at a nearby house as a wildfire burns at the village of Mati, near Athens, Greece, July 23, 2018. (Photo: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)


A firefighter holds a hose as a wildfire burns at the village of Mati, near Athens, Greece, July 23, 2018. (Photo: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)


A house burns 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. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)


A man looks at the flames as a wildfire burns in the town of Rafina, near Athens, Greece, July 23, 2018. (Photo: Costas Baltas/Reuters)


Two women evacuate the village of Mati during a wildfire near Athens, on July 23, 2018. (Photo: Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty Images)