Flames ravage Greek seaside as wildfires kill over 70

Greece wildfire destroys homes near Athens

Huge wildfires in Greece spread by powerful winds have killed at least 49 and injured scores more, authorities announced Tuesday as the blazes ravaged several areas on the outskirts of the country's capital.

Residents in the worst-affected areas were forced into the sea to escape the flames.

"They had tried to find an escape route but unfortunately these people and their kids didn't make it in time".

Residents and visitors in the area did not escape in time even though they were a few metres from the sea or in their homes.

People stood amid the charred remains of burned-out cars in Mati east of Athens, today.

Police in the town said they found two Danish tourists out of a group of 10 in a boat at sea off the town and were trying to locate the others.

Around 80 people have died in the forest fires which have raged through Greek villages and holiday resorts.

Government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said in a televised statement early on Tuesday that the death toll exceeded 20 while more than 88 adults and 16 children were injured.

She said the toll was not yet final since firefighters were still searching for victims.

Greek health authorities could not immediately confirm the increase in the death toll as the bodies had not yet reached hospitals.

Sixteen children are among those hurt in the region, which is popular with local tourists.

A man caught up in the wildfire in Greece while on honeymoon with his new bride has died, it has been confirmed.

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The service urged residents to report missing relatives and friends.

Some parts of Mati were still smoldering white smoke early on Tuesday. Burnt cars were scattered outside gated compounds where three and four-storey buildings bore signs of fire damage.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has declared three days of mourning, while Italy, Germany, Poland and France have all sent help in the form of planes, vehicles and fire fighters.

Greece issued an urgent appeal for help to tackle fires that raged out of control in several places across the country, destroying homes and disrupting major transport links.Cyprus and Spain offered assistance after Greece said it needed air and land assets from European Union partners.

Greece has also sought global help through the European Union and Spain is sending two firefighting aircraft while Cyprus has sent in 60 firefighters.

President Michael D Higgins said he has written to Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos to express his sympathies with the families of those who have lost their lives and livelihoods in the fires.

Authorities said they would be making use of an unmanned drone from the United States on Tuesday to monitor and track any suspicious activity.

Smoke from the blazes blotted out the sun over the famed Parthenon temple in Athens, where some ministries closed Monday afternoon due to the searing heat.

Fires in 2007 on the southern island of Evia claimed 77 lives.

Greece has had a dry and hot summer.

Fire Service spokeswoman Stavroula Malliri said all six have been hospitalized Monday but details of their conditions remained unclear.

Flames rise as a wildfire burns in the town of Rafina, near Athens.

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