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Portugal: Huge forest fires kill at least 60

Portugal: Huge forest fires kill at least 60

(credit: Viriato Ferreira)

ADRA Portugal is at work, by means of donations and resources with which to intervene.

June 19, 2017 | Bern, Switzerland. | ADRA Portugal, A. Mazza, EUD NEWS.

At least 60 people have been killed in huge forest fires in central Portugal, many dying in their cars as they tried to flee the flames.

Portugal’s prime minister, António Costa, described the blazes – which have injured dozens more people – as “the greatest tragedy we have seen in recent years in terms of forest fires”, and warned the death toll could rise. Three days of national mourning were declared.

Several hundred firefighters and 160 vehicles were dispatched late on Saturday to tackle the fire.

"The news and images that are coming from the central region of Portugal, where many villages were hit by what is already considered one of the greatest catastrophes ever caused by a fire, fill our hearts with pain for the victims and their families", stated a Leader of the Church in Portugal. "The Adventist Church in Portugal would like to express its sorrow and its support for all who lost friends and relatives in this tragic event as well as those who saw their belongings destroyed by the incredible fire."

According to the information we have so far, the Adventist Clinica, Vita Salus, was evacuated and did not sustain any damages. There are no victims among the members of the churches and groups in the area. However, there are several Adventist families that lost their belongings: houses and properties, vehicles, gardens, greenhouses, and even personal documents.

"We know that some of our brothers― apart from the authorities― are already providing support to these families", stated a portuguese Adventist Leader.  "Similarly, ADRA is at work, by means of donations and resources with which to intervene. This is a moment in which all of us, even if we are physically distant from this place of suffering, can donate our offerings to ADRA."

“We are deeply saddened by this terrible event", so the Public Relations Department of the Inter-European Division. "Our hearts go out to all those involved during this trying time. May our prayers serve as comfort to the families and friends of the victims.  May the Lord ease the pain provoked by this tragic event."

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