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Tragic Wildfire In Greece: In Search Of Missing Families After 79 People Confirmed Dead

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Tragic Wildfire

What is happening in eastern Attica is a black hell. Have you heard about the tragedy of the wildfire spreading in Athens, Greece? If not, carry not reading.

Firstly, wildfire is basically a large, destructive fire that spreads quickly over woodland or brush. However, this fire season has become is the deadliest in decades.

Fire swept through the village 40km (25 miles) north-east of Athens on Monday and was still burning in some areas on Tuesday.

Fires are a recurring problem during the hot, dry summer months in Attica.

Officials quoted by AFP news agency have suggested the current blazes may have been started by arsonists looking to loot abandoned homes.

“Fifteen fires had started simultaneously on three different fronts in Athens,” said government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos.

As wind-fueled wildfires that killed at least 79 people in vacation areas outside Athens bore down on their seaside resort, 26 men, women and children gathered in the hope that they could find the narrow path leading to a small staircase down to the water.

The gated entrance stood only a dozen paces away, but with smoke blotting their vision and choking their lungs, they appear to have lost their way. Officials found their bodies the next day, Tuesday; several were still clinging to one another.

Greek authorities are looking for dozens of people missing after the deadly and catastrophic wildfires near Athens. After At least 79 people have died, and a search continues for survivors who fled the blaze, including those who took to the sea. More than 170 others have been hospitalized with burns and other injuries.

Furthermore, the blaze struck like a flamethrower, causing both smoke inhalation and skin burns. Coastal patrol boats and private vessels picked up hundreds of those who did manage to reach harbours or beaches.

Flames fanned by strong winds devastated the seaside village of Mati, devouring homes and cars. The coastguard said it and other ships rescued almost 700 people who had fled to the coast, and pulled 19 survivors and four bodies from the sea.

Desperate families in need were trying their hardest to reach the safety of the sea were trapped by walls of smoke and flame. They just couldn’t make it. Others died in buildings or cars.

The blaze has created such thick smoke that the main highways between the Peloponnese and the Greek mainland have been shut down and an orange haze has descended on Athens.

The first fire broke out in a pine forest near the seaside settlement of Kineta 50km west of Athens between the capital and Corinth. At least 150 firefighters were on the scene while five water-dropping planes and seven helicopters helped to fight the blaze from the air.

According to BBC.UK, after the 26 bodies were found in an open space, Nikos Economopoulos, head of Greece’s Red Cross, said: “They had tried to find an escape route but unfortunately these people and their kids didn’t make it in time. Instinctively, seeing the end nearing, they embraced.”

Mati is located in the Rafina region which is popular with local tourists, especially pensioners and children attending holiday camps. Rescuers there found the bodies of 26 adults and children, who had apparently hugged each other as they died, trapped just metres from the sea. It is devastating and heartbreaking how these people couldn’t make it.

High winds spread the fire, trapping many in homes and vehicles and forcing others into the water as they tried to escape the flames.

One of the survivors claimed that the village has disappeared which more than 1,000 buildings had been destroyed or damaged!

Hundreds of firefighters have been battling the blazes and the authorities are seeking international assistance. A fire brigade official confirmed the latest death toll.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has declared three days of national mourning.

Prime Minister Tsipras has declared a state of emergency in Attica, saying all emergency services had been mobilised.

According to the BBC.UK, a spokesperson for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Georgia Trismpioti, told the BBC some people had lost everything, “The death toll rises every hour, many people lost their loved ones, many people lost their houses, lost everything, and they will need long-term support in order to recover.”

We, the What’s Up Cairo Team, wish all those survivors a speedy recovery and all those families mourning for losing their beloved ones to stay strong and we’re all here for you!

Nadia Haitham, who is a sixteen year old teenager, fantasizes and creates images in people’s minds using written words. She has always admired the idea of writing ever since she was a little girl with piggy tails and somehow, she’s chasing her dream! Nadia is currently an IGCSE student in The Continental School Of Cairo and she’s in the eleventh grade. They say Nadia is too young but she asks repeatedly, “if I don’t start now, then when?!” She blows her candles on the fifteenth of July, her zodiac sign is Cancer and she’s Egyptian. In 2015, she has written her first completed book that’s called, “Love Of A Teenage Girl” which is published on a writing website called, Wattpad. She has won several awards for the book which she’s planning to publish in the future. Nadia has also written a few other books and created quotes of her own but she hasn’t completed them yet but she’s planning to. She’s into music and learning something new every single day using the help of the social media world. She believes that writing is an underestimated art, it’s exactly like painting colorful images in people’s minds by using words of black and white.

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Al-Ahsa Oasis Makes it to Guinness World Records as the World’s Largest Oasis

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Al-Ahsa Oasis, which is located the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, has entered the Guinness World Records as the largest self-contained oasis in the world.

According to “Guinness” website, the oasis includes more than 2.5 million palm trees feeding on a huge aquifer through 280 artesian springs and extending over an area of more than 85.4 square kilometers (32.9 square miles).

“The largest self-contained oasis in the world is the Al-Ahsa Oasis. Located in south-eastern Saudi Arabia, there are more than 2.5 million palm trees in the oasis, which is fed from a huge underground aquifer, which allows agriculture all year round in a region that is otherwise sand desert. The oasis is named after the Al-Ahsa region in which it lies, and occupies around 85.4 square kilometres (32.9 square miles) irrigated by the flow of more than 280 artesian springs.” The website read.

Al-Ahsa is rich with an environmental heritage but also has a long history and witnesses the birth of several civilizations and has always been a strategic communication bridge with the world.

The oasis includes several national heritage sites and the oldest human settlements that date back to thousands of years. Its date-palm oasis is the largest palm oasis surrounded by sand in the entire world.

The “Guinness World Records” had also registered the Maraya concert hall in Al-Ula as the largest building in the world to be covered with mirrors.

 

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What You Need to Know About This Year’s Hajj’s Procedures & Conditions

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The Kingdom just announced that Hajj will be held after all this year for citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia only, here are all the procedures and conditions that the kingdom will follow in performing the Hajj this year.

Saudi Minister of Hajj Muhammad Saleh bin Taher announced during a press conference held on June 23 that precautionary measures and protocols have been set by the Supreme Hajj Committee to organize a safe pilgrimage this year under the supervision of the Saudi Ministry of Health.

He also expressed the Kingdom’s keenness in enabling Muslims to perform Hajj rituals, despite the current outbreak of the coronavirus.

Bin Taher added that Hajj this year will be performed without any overcrowding, assuring that the needed social distance will be maintained in addition to more precautionary measures.

“It may be a thousand pilgrims or slightly more,” the minister said.

Saudi Minister of Health Tawfiq al-Rabiah said that only those under the age of 65 will be allowed to perform Hajj, those who don’t suffer from any chronic diseases.

Rabiah said that all pilgrims will undergo a coronavirus test before entering the holy sites and will stay in a 14-day house quarantine after performing the rituals.

Security personnel, workers at the holy sites, and the health practitioners serving the pilgrims will all have to undergo these tests.

“A hospital has been set up at every site in anticipation of any emergency, in addition to a health center at Mount Arafat,” he said.

Pilgrims will also be accompanied by ambulances and medical personnel as they perform the rites.

Health Minister Salih also affirmed that due to the current threats imposed by the pandemic, no pilgrims from outside the kingdom will be allowed to participate in the Hajj this year.

On the criteria for selecting pilgrims, the Saudi minister of Hajj and Umrah said, “We will coordinate with diplomatic missions to register their pilgrims.”

We wish all pilgrims a safe Hajj and may god watch over them.

 

 

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The Kingdom Lifted the Curfew Across the Country and Here’s What You Need to Know

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Saudi Arabia has lifted the curfew today across the country after an announcement from the Interior Ministry last night.

The curfew will be lifted across the country, including the cities of Makkah and Jeddah where residents were allowed to leave their homes for necessities only.

This will allow economic and commercial activities to operate once again but on the condition that they strictly adhere to precautionary measures, the ministry said.

Not only that, but also the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has allowed the opening of men’s barbershops and women’s beauty salons.

The ministry is also urging citizens and residents to download both the applications “Tabaud” and “Tawakkalna” in order to receive the latest health instructions about coronavirus.

The ministry also stressed that social distancing measures must be strictly obeyed and that gatherings of more than 50 people are strictly prohibited, the ministry added.

Individuals must wear a mask at all times when they are out in public and those who shall violate any of the preventative measures will be penalized, the ministry warned.

Umrah pilgrimage and visits to holy sites remain suspended.

International flights remain suspended, as well as all travel activities through sea and land entry-exit points, until further notice.

 

 

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