Concerns for missing Irish man as Greek wildfires continue to rage

At least 79 people have been killed in the blazes

Concerns for missing Irish man as Greek wildfires continue to rage

Brian O'Callaghan-Westropp | Image: Facebook

Fears are rising for an Irish man caught up in Greek wildfires, which have killed at least 79 people.

Dozens of people have been hospitalised and many more are missing.

Newlyweds Brian O'Callaghan-Westropp and Zoe Holohan were married last week before flying out to Greece on their honeymoon.

Ms Holohan is now in hospital with burns, while her husband is missing.

He was last seen at the resort of Mati outside Athens on Monday.

Brian O'Callaghan-Westropp and Zoe Holohan | Image: Facebook

The Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed it is offering consular assistance to a number of Irish citizens in Greece.

Three days of national mourning are beginning there for those killed.

Dozens of homes and buildings have also been destroyed as a result of the fires, and people have been forced to flee their homes in some affected areas.

Greek authorities are requesting air and ground assistance from other EU countries, with hundreds of firefighters already involved in the effort to tackle the fires.

Cyprus and Spain are said to have already offered assistance.

People stand amid the charred remains of burned-out cars in Mati east of Athens | Image: Aristidis Vafeiadakis/Zuma Press/PA Images

Mati, which is around 40km from Athens, appears to have been the worst affected area - although authorities are also tackling fires elsewhere in the region.

In Mati, survivors are walking the street in search of missing loved ones.

Panagiotis Dagalos survived after grabbing his three year-old son and running to the beach.

But when he got there, he realised his wife was not with them.

"I didn't turn my head back, nothing.

"I was running - I had memorised the track because the last day we had (been) swimming at the beach, so I knew where to go".

A firefighter takes a break in Mati, a seaside town east of Athens, Greece | Image: Lefteris Partsalis/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

The Greek fire brigade confirmed the rising death toll after fires, which began on Monday, destroyed seaside resorts near Athens, in the towns of Mati and Rafina to the east of the city and Kineta to the west.

Stavroula Malliri from the fire service says the flames were fuelled by the weather.

"The increased intensity of the wind meant the area's residents and visitors did not have time to escape, despite being just a few metres from the sea or inside their cars".

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has described the fire as an 'unspeakable tragedy'.

"Today Greece is mourning, and in memory of those who are lost we are declaring a three-day period of national mourning.

"But we must not let the mourning overwhelm us - because these hours are hours of battle, unity, courage and above all solidarity".