UN chief 'deeply saddened' by the many lives claimed by raging wildfires in Portugal

Secretary-General António Guterres. UN Photo/Mark Garten (file)

18 June 2017 – 'Shocked and horrified' at the many lives claimed by the devastating fires that hit the Pedrógão Grande region of Portugal, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today expressed his deep sadness and condolences to the Portuguese Government and people.

In a statement, the Secretary-General said he spoke earlier today with the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and with the Prime Minister, António Costa, expressing his “deep sadness.”

According to news reports, the fast-moving wildfires ripped through the forested Pedrógão Grande central region of Portugal, some 150 kilometers (95 miles) northeast of Lisbon, leaving dozens dead and more injured.

“I wish a speedy recovery to the injured. At this time of loss, my thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the victims,” said Mr. Guterres.

The UN chief went on to commend the Government, firefighters, emergency responders and civil society organizations who are sparing no efforts to battle the wildfire and help people in need.

“The United Nations stands ready to assist in any way possible,” the Secretary-General concluded.

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