Pope leads prayer for Portugal fire victims

Jun 18, 2017 | Accidents, Nation, News, Phil Star, Philippines, Trending, Viral, World

A man on the balcony of a house looks up at a forest fire raging on a hillside above the village of Avelar, central Portugal, before sunrise Sunday, June 18, 2017. A number of people have been killed in forest fires in central Portugal, many of them trapped in their cars as flames swept over a road Saturday evening. AP / Armando Franca

LISBON, Portugal  — The Latest on the Portugal forest fires (all times local):

11:30 a.m.

Pope Francis has led thousands of people in a moment of silent prayer for the victims of the Portugal fire.

Francis referred to the “devastating fire” at the end of his Sunday prayer, delivered from his studio window overlooking St. Peter’s Square.

The crowd fell silent and Francis bowed his head to recall the “many victims” of the blaze.

Francis visited the Portuguese shrine of Fatima last month.

___

11:15 a.m.

Portugal’s soccer team has expressed its condolences for the victims of forest fires that have claimed at least 57 lives.

The team’s players, including star Cristiano Ronaldo and coach Fernando Santos, signed a statement saying “in this sad hour we send our deepest sympathies to the families, friends and loved ones of the victims of the fires.”

Portugal’s team is in Russia, where it is set to start the Confederations Cup later on Sunday against Mexico.

___

10:25 a.m.

The European Union has activated its civil protection efforts to help Portugal fight forest fires that have killed at least 43 people.

The EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides expressed his condolences for the victims in a statement, saying the “EU is fully ready to help.”

Stylianides says that in response to a request for help by Portugal, Spain and France are both sending aircraft to help fight the flames.

France is sending three planes, while Spain has sent several firefighting aircraft.

___

9:50 a.m.

Spain’s prime minister has offered support to Portugal after forest fires have killed at least 43 people in the neighboring country.

Mariano Rajoy has tweeted that he is “overwhelmed by the tragedy at Pedrogao Grande. The Portuguese people can count on our solidarity, support and care.”

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said that Spanish rescuers would assist in efforts to control the blazes.

Many victims were killed when their cars were engulfed by flames as they swept across a country road near the town of Pedrogao Grande.

___

9:30 a.m.

A local resident who fled from a forest fire in central Portugal has blamed the lack of rain for helping produce the blaze that has killed 43 people and injured scores more.

Avelar resident Isabel Brandao has told The Associated Press that “the problem is that there was no rain. If it had rained, this would not happen.”

Brandao said that “at 3:30 a.m. my mother-in-law woke me up quickly and we never went to sleep again. We were afraid the fire would reach us.”

Portuguese authorities say that they are still investigating the cause of the fire. But Prime Minister Antonio Costa said high temperatures of 40 C (104 F) in recent days may have played a part.

Many victims were killed when their cars were engulfed by flames as they swept across a country road.

___

8:25 a.m.

A Portuguese interior ministry official says that the death toll in the forest fires raging in central Portugal has increased to 39.

Interior Ministry official Jorge Gomes has been quoted as giving the new figure on public broadcaster RTP. Government officials say many of victims died in their cars when flames swept over a road.

About 600 firefighters are fighting blazes that are raging in the Pedrogao Grande area about 150 kilometers (95 miles) northeast of Lisbon.

___

4:35 a.m.

Portuguese radio station TSF says the Interior Ministry has confirmed that 25 people have been killed in forest fires in central Portugal.

Government officials say many of victims died in their cars when flames swept over a road.

About 600 firefighters are fighting blazes that are raging in the Pedrogao Grande area about 150 kilometers (95 miles) northeast of Lisbon.

Give a little help

Like Us On Facebook

Sponsor Hosting

our current visitors

visitor’s location

Sponsor Ads

loading...
'