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9/03/2007

This is our tsunami. Our 9/11

Greece
A Major Catastrophic Disaster
Photo:
An elderly woman cries in front of her burned stable in the Platania village in Peloponnese.

The fires that have reduced vast swaths of Greece to a stinking, charred vision of hell have shocked the world. For those who live in Greece, the catastrophe is the worst thing to have hit the country since the ravages of the second world war. Like the war, the fallout will almost certainly affect their lives for at least the next generation. "This is our tsunami. Our 9/11." The loss of life has been shocking. Who can forget the images of bodies blackened by the side of the road, the nightmarish midnight infernos swallowing up hillsides, or the story of a mother and her four children who died, clinging together in the car, trying to escape? Whole villages have been incinerated, and perhaps even worse, ancient olive groves and pine forests with their attendant history, livelihoods and futures, are now piles of ashes.

Related News

After devastating fires, heavy rains in Greece now raise fears of flooding

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A massive cleanup, reconstruction and anti-flood effort was being launched Monday for fire-stricken parts of southern Greece as one fire front continued to burn while others abated, officials said.

After months of successive heat waves, heavy rainstorms flooded parts of northern Greece on Sunday. Rain and cooler weather were expected to move south early this week, helping firefighters extinguish any remaining blazes and prevent the possibility of smoldering fires rekindling. However, officials also fear that heavy rains could hamper relief efforts and lead to flooding.

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