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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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Three Month Extension Granted to Expatriates

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In light of the Coronavirus outbreak, many things have changed. Things we hadn’t planned on happening are going on. The toll for people who have tested positive is increasing day by day.

For instance, Saudi Arabia has initiated a royal decree which means they will be spending 9 billion riyals on workers who have been affected by the virus. Since people are getting laid off of jobs and staying at home, this has been affecting their day to day lives since no work means no money.

Which is why this was a gracious act done by King Salman. Another thing that is being altered is that the resident identity cards expatriates, non Saudi Arabians, will be granted three months extension with no extra charge. What?

The General Directorate of Passports has announced that this is the best decision that should be taken in this current time. This decision will apply to private sector employees whose cards have already expired since the beginning of March 18th. They will have an extension until June 30th which leaves them more time to think things through.

As for the people who are affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, they will be notified with this newfound decision and extension via text message. This decision has been made in light of efforts done by the Saudi Arabian Government in order to address both the financial and economic disruption that is erupting on a global scale due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

 

 

 

 

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9 Billion Riyals to be Allocated to Emloyees

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King Salman

Breaking News in Jeddah: A royal decree issue by King Salman is said to be allocated SR9 billion as a compensation to the citizens whose jobs have been affected  as a repercussion of the pandemic. The amount is an equivalent to $2.4 million!

This royal decree is to exempt all the Saudi’s whose work has been affected, especially those who work in private sectors and facilities. Bare in mind that these people have a family to fend for as well as take care of. Without this decree, these families would be suffering and would maybe even end up in the streets!

This decree will be granting these employees 60% of their stable income on a monthly basis. This will happen through social insurance for the time span of three month with SR9,000 per month.

Mohammed Al-Jadaan, the Finance Minister and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Organization for Social Insurance, stated that this support mechanism is under the Sanad scheme for facilities that are already included in the royal decree.

Hopefully, this will be covering 100% of the Saudi Arabians that are already working in facilities that are employing five or less or the opposite, more than five. These employers will be exempted from paying salaries on a monthly basis for beneficiaries as per the degree during this compensation period.

The decree also states that the facility is banned from forcing the employees to work in this compensation period due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also, the number of people who are proven to be qualified for these benefits have exceeded 1.2 million citizens.

On the other hand, the rest of the citizens are allowed to apply for these compensations in this month of April. Also, the payment will commence at the beginning of May.

Other facilities are forced to continue to pay the salaries of the employees, whether Saudi or not, that are not included in the compensation plan. Either way, Saudi Arabia is doing a great job at taking care of their citizens amidst this outbreak!

 

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King Salman Orders Coronavirus Treatment to All and For Free

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King Salman Orders Coronavirus Treatment to All and For Free

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has ordered coronavirus treatment to be provided for all and free of charge to all citizens of governmental and private sectors and even to those who have overstayed their visas in the Kingdom.

The announcement was made by the Kingdom’s health minister, Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah, during a press conference in Riyadh that was held yesterday.

The minister assured that the King’s order includes all citizens and residents – even those in violation of residency laws.

Al-Rabiah further explained that this royal decision comes in light of the King’s keenness in putting the health of all citizens above all, and to ensure the safety and well-being of all residents of the Kingdom.

“The government of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques is keen on the safety of all, and anyone who has symptoms should not hesitate to go to any medical facility to get detection and treatment in case of infected with the virus,” he said.

Al-Rabiah also acknowledged the tremendous work and efforts of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, who has shown such great leadership role in the fight against the spread of coronavirus.

“I would like to say that this harmony and distinguished work among all is led by a unique leader who works tirelessly and without boredom for the safety of the citizens, he is none other than Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman.” He said.

This great act of kindness and magnanimous gesture has even caught the attention of the World Health Organization chief, who praised the King’s efforts in a tweet.

“This is what #HealthForAll means! Thank you so much @KingSalman for your leadership and commitment to ensure everyone has access to the health services needed to fight #COVID19. I hope other countries will follow your lead! Solidarity!” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, tweeted.

 

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