Death toll in Portugal wildfires rises to 27

Reuters
Lous?, Portugal Published: Oct 16, 2017, 12:25 PM(IST)

The fires, some of which an official said had been started deliberately, were fanned by strong winds as remnants of ex-Hurricane Ophelia brushed the Iberian coast. Photograph:( Reuters )

At least 27 people died in a massive wave of wildfires raging in central and northern Portugal on Sunday (October 15) and Monday (October 16) in the worst such calamity since a blaze killed 64 people in June, civil protection told a news briefing.

Patricia Gaspar, a civil protection service spokeswoman, told reporters firefighters were still battling 145 fires and 32 of the blazes were considered as serious. At least 51 people have been injured in the fires, she said.

Nine dead as wildfires ravage northern Portugal, Spain

The fires, some of which an official said had been started deliberately, were fanned by strong winds as remnants of ex-Hurricane Ophelia brushed the Iberian coast.

They had spread quickly over the weekend across a landscape left tinder-dry by a hot summer, and some blazes in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia remained out of control on Monday, authorities there said.

Authorities in Portugal, where a huge fire killed 64 people in June, said the death toll was likely to rise. As many as 20 people could have been killed, television channel SIC said.

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