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Portugal and Spain wildfires: dozens dead and injured

Wildfires across Portugal and Spain leave dozens dead as fire-fighters continue to battle the flames.

17 October 2017, 12:09pm
Firefighters work to extinguish flames from a forest fire in Cabanoes near Lousa, Portugal (Photo: BD News 24)
Firefighters work to extinguish flames from a forest fire in Cabanoes near Lousa, Portugal (Photo: BD News 24)
A state of emergency has been declared across half of Portugal as over 500 fires have erupted. Thousands of firefighters across Spain and Portugal continue to tackle the wildfires. At least 36 people, including a newborn baby, have been confirmed dead in Portugal, while many are still missing. Three people in Spain have also died.

Vigo, Galicia’s major city has been taken over by over five wildfires, forcing roads, schools and factories to close and people to take shelter. Thousands, including Spain’s Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, have also evacuated to Galicia’s north-western region.      

Spain’s Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy claims that the fires were caused by arsonists.

"What we are dealing with here is something that is not caused by accident. It has been provoked."

Portugal’s civil protection agency has however stated that the fires have broken out due to the extreme weather circumstances and Storm Ophelia. The situation is still considered as critical due to the unseasonably high temperatures.

Cooler, wetter weather is to be expected soon.