A church leader in Athens has asked for prayers following the deadly forest wildfires in Greece, which broke out on July 23, 2018.
Rev. Canon Leonard Doolan of St. Paul’s Anglican Church called on people to pray for the victims of the worst wildfires to hit the country in decades, reports Premier. Greece is experiencing a hot, dry summer and two large wildfires have raged near Athens, killing 74 people, and injuring 187.
Stand alongside us in prayer, whatever it is that’s happening or has happened to people here we just commend the whole situation to God. —Rev. Canon Leonard Doolan
One of the wildfires blazed through the beach resorts in Rafina, 18 miles east of the Greek capital, which destroyed homes and forests. Tourists and residents fled the area to escape the inferno.
The fire department said the flames spread rapidly into the seaside towns due to gale-force winds. The fire affected a populated area and burned down hundreds of homes and vehicles. Within just two days, 47 brush and forest fires broke out across Greece.
Rev. Doolan disclosed that a member of his church was injured in the tragedy. “Stand alongside us in prayer, whatever it is that’s happening or has happened to people here we just commend the whole situation to God,” he said.
According to The Independent, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras declared three days of national mourning. “The country is going through an unspeakable tragedy,” he said in a television broadcast.
When the fire broke out, Greek authorities have ordered residents to leave their homes immediately to escape the blaze. The doors of many vehicles were left open and the key still in the ignition as Greeks scrambled for safety. Coast guard and private boats rescued more than 700 people from the seaside.