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Agony and Despair as Search for Missing Greeks Moves Slowly

Anguish, sadness and anger are the feelings of the relatives of the hundreds of missing persons after the devastating fires in East Attica.
Residents and holidaymakers who were in Mati and Rafina to enjoy the sea and the sun can not describe the horrors they experienced in the fatal hours when the fires raged in the popular seaside towns, consuming lives and buildings.
The search in the ashes and the debris by rescuers, volunteers and relatives is a macabre task. No one wants to find the persons missing charred under the debris. They prefer the anguish of the search for their loved ones to continue.
People plead in the social networks for information about their missing loved ones. They post pictures of smiling people, hoping that when they find them they will see those smiles again. They ask people who might have seen their relatives to call 199 (Fire Department emergency) and give information.
However, the number of people missing can not be assessed as not all missing persons are reported. At the same time, relatives who found their loved ones who had been reported as missing, usually fail to report their return to the authorities.
The missing twin girls
The most heartbreaking case is that of the Sophia and Vasiliki Filippopoulou twins. The 9-year-old twin sisters were seen by their father on television to disembark from  a fishing boat at the Rafina port with the aid of a couple. The couple, shown very clearly, accompanies two older girls. The footage shows a volunteer wrapping blankets around the girls who are with their swimsuits on. However, after that, the two girls disappeared.
The father, Yiannis Filippopoulos, is constantly on television asking for the couple that helped the twins get off the boat to contact him. Before they saw the footage on TV, the anguish of the Filippopoulos couple to find their daughters was so intense that they even visited the morgue of the Goudi children’s hospital to seek their twin girls.  The twins were on holiday in Rafina with their grandparents.
Marathon mayor: There were 40 people missing until dawn

Marathon Mayor Ilias Psinakis (right) with Deputy Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Toskas next to him

Marathon Mayor Ilias Psinakis said that by 5 am, 40 people in his municipality were officially reported missing.
Psinakis spoke on ANT1 television saying that the number of missing persons is rising. “There were 40 people reported missing until 5 in the morning when I was in the town hall. When they are missing for so long, the news will probably be not pleasant,” the mayor said, adding that the number of dead will be rising as well.
“The number of dead was 76 and will be definitely rising. I hear they found five more dead,” he said.
Confusion as to where to report missing persons
There is general confusion as to which public agency one should report missing persons. The fire department announced that they are the competent authority to report relatives and friends who are missing.
However, people call the emergency police number (100), municipal offices, even the citizen protection ministry, in a desperate effort to report their loved ones who have disappeared.

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