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Greek authorities pledge full support to fire-stricken areas, as country mourns 74 casualties

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-07-25 09:31

A burned house is seen in Mati, a seaside town east of Athens, Greece, on July 24, 2018. The number of killed in the devastating fires near Athens was revised upward to 74 on Tuesday afternoon, while the search for more victims continued in Attica's eastern coast, Greek national news agency AMNA reported. [Photo/Xinhua]

ATHENS - Greek political leaders pledged full and immediate support to the fire-stricken areas in Attica on Tuesday, as the country was mourning at least 74 dead.

July 24 has been a day of celebration in Greece in the past 44 years as the day democracy was restored after a seven-year military dictatorship.

This year it was a day of national mourning, as Greeks faced the deadliest tragedy caused by wildfires in over a decade.

"On this anniversary of the restoration of democracy our thoughts are on the tragedy of the deadly fires that struck Attica. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families and the injured fighting for their lives. There are no words for our pain. We fully support them," Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos said in a televised message.

Burned vehicles are seen in Mati, a seaside town east of Athens, Greece, on July 24, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]

"Nothing and nobody will be forgotten. Nothing and nobody will be left without help and the assistance of the state," Greek Prime Minister Alexis said in a similar address to Greek people, declaring three days of national mourning.

Following a mini cabinet meeting, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos outlined a series of measures to help fire victims, including the disbursement of 20 million euros (23.4 million U.S. dollars) to meet immediate needs of municipalities struck by the fires and compensations for citizens who have suffered damages.

According to the latest official count, 187 injured people were hospitalized.

Meanwhile, hundreds of firefighters were still battling against flare-ups and emergency crews were searching for missing persons inside charred remains of summer homes and cars.

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