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United Nations chief condoles with Portugal over wildfire deaths

United Nations chief condoles with Portugal over wildfire deaths”

Gomes said 54 people were also injured in the fire, five of them seriously, including four firefighters and a minor.

Portugal has declared three days of mourning as 62 people were declared killed by the fire, a lot of them trapped in their cars by flames as treacherous wind drove the blaze beyond firefighters control.

Just over 1000 firefighters are still attending that blaze about 150 kilometers north of Lisbon.

Scorching weather, with temperatures surpassing 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), as well as strong winds and dry woodland after weeks with little rain are fueling the blazes.

On Sunday night, fires reportedly were still charring the forest in central Portugal.

A British man has told of his dramatic escape from a wildfire that killed 62 people in central Portugal.

The country was in mourning after the deadliest such disaster in Portugal's recent history, with many victims burnt as they were trapped in their cars.

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

The fire, which Prime Minister Antonio Costa called, "a dimension of human tragedy that we can not remember", started Saturday and was still burning as of Sunday afternoon, requiring the attention of around 1,600 firefighters over the weekend.

The initial blaze started Saturday, and the flames spread along four fronts with "great violence", said Jorge Gomes, secretary of state for internal administration.

The loss of life due to a forest fire was the biggest in memory in Portugal.

France sent three water-dropping planes Sunday to help fight the fires in Portugal's Leiria region, as part of European Union joint civil security operations.

The death toll was cut from 62 to 61 after a counting error, "but we will certainly find other victims on the ground" in searches from village to village, said Costa.

About 35 forest fires continued to burn across the country today, with more than 2,000 firefighters and 660 vehicles mobilised.

Firefighting aircraft were being sent from France and Spain, the EU's humanitarian aid commissioner Christos Stylianides said. More than 600 firefighters were still battling the flames on Sunday.

Police say lightning striking a tree may have caused the fire.

French President Emmanuel Macron, Pope Francis and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, expressed solidarity with Portugal.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy tweeted that he is "overwhelmed by the tragedy at Pedrogao Grande".

Portuguese Lusa News Agency reported earlier Sunday that the number of people killed in the forest fires were 57, with 59 others injured.



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