Pope urged to pray for Portugal, where the fire killed people

© REUTERS / Rafael MarchanteЛесной fire in PortugalPope urged to pray for Portugal, where the fire killed people© REUTERS / Rafael Marchante

Pope Francis called on the faithful to pray for Portugal, where the victims of the strongest forest fire has dozens of people.

«I Express my closeness to the dear Portuguese people in connection with the devastating fire that struck the forest near Pedrogao Grande, causing numerous victims and wounded,» said the Pontiff during the traditional Sunday sermon at St. Peter’s square at the Vatican.

According to the latest data released by the Secretary of state for internal Affairs of Portugal, Jorge Gamescom, the result of a forest fire raging near the village of Pedrogao Grande (province of Estremadura), killed 57 people, killed 59, five of whom sustained serious wounds and burns.

The fire, which still fails to localize, apparently, began as a result sorokogradusnoy heat, which was established on the Iberian Peninsula in recent days. The rapid spread of fire contributed to the strong gusts of wind. According to media reports, the fire damaged several settlements, but accurate data on the extent of the damage yet.

Earlier, Prime Minister Antonio Costa said «the highest number of victims as a result of a forest fire in Portugal.»