Above: screen grab from Wall Street Journal video.
(Published at 11:50 a.m. MDT June 19, 2017)
The wildfires in Portugal are continuing to spread, forcing residents to leave their homes. Approximately 1,000 firefighters are battling the fires that have killed at least 62 people, including a firefighter who died in a hospital.
Below is an excerpt from a BBC article:
Twelve people survived one of Portugal’s deadliest fires by seeking refuge in a water tank after access to their village was cut off by the blaze.
The residents, including a disabled 95-year-old woman, spent more than six hours in the tank as the fire prevented them from being rescued.
[In the village of Mó Grande] 30 bodies were found inside cars, with another 17 next to the vehicles, on the N-236 road, which leads on to the IC8 motorway. The N-236 was being described as the “road of death” in Portuguese media.
A few kilometres north of Nodeirinho, 11 people died in the village of Pobrais. Local reports said a third of the population had lost their lives, many as they tried to escape the fire. A survivor spoke of the roads being blocked and of no-one coming to their aid.
And from the Business Insider:
Despite government assurances that the first response by the emergency services was swift and adequate, many media and residents questioned the efficiency of the operation and the strategic planning in a country which is used to wooded areas burning every year.
“So what failed this Saturday? Everything, as it has failed for decades,” read a headline in the daily Publico, which blamed a lack of coordination between services in charge of fire prevention and firefighting and poor forestry reserve planning.