New Delhi: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed grief over the Portugal forest fire tragedy in which 62 people lost their lives. “Sad to learn of tragic loss of lives in the forest fire in Portugal. Deepest condolences to the Portugese people on this tragedy,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted.
Portugal has declared three days of national mourning as the death toll in one of the country’s worst forest fires rises to 62. Several hundred firefighters and over 100 vehicles were dispatched late on Saturday to tackle the blaze, which broke out in the afternoon in the municipality of Pedrogao Grande before spreading fast across several fronts.
Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa described the fire as the greatest tragedy that the country has seen in recent years in terms of forest fires. Several parts of Portugal are scorching under a severe heat wave with temperatures exceeding 40 °C.
Portugal is prone to forest fires during the dry summer months. More than 100,000 hectares of the country’s mainland was devastated by a series of fires last year.