October 16, 2017 / 9:59 AM / 2 years ago

At least 20 killed in Portugal wildfires

Firefighters from the Military Emergency Unit (UME) work to put out a forest fire near As Nieves, northern Spain, October 15, 2017. Picture taken October 15, 2017. Spanish Defence Ministry/UME/Luismi Ortiz/Handout via REUTERS

LISBON (Reuters) - At least 20 people died in a massive wave of wildfires raging across Portugal on Sunday and Monday in the worst such calamity since a blaze killed 64 people in June, state news agency Lusa cited civil protection officials as saying.

Initially, officials put the death toll at six and no one was immediately available to confirm the rising death toll. The Portuguese government declared a state of public emergency in all the regions north of the Tagus river, a territory about half the size of continental Portugal.

Reporting by Andrei Khalip; Editing by Alison Williams

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