Greece's fire department says 49 people are confirmed to have died in forest fires that have swept through popular seaside holiday areas near the Greek capital.
As part of a huge rescue effort, emergency workers used boats and helicopters to evacuate a beach.
The death toll soared with a Red Cross official reporting the discovery of 26 bodies in the courtyard of a villa at the seaside resort of Mati.
The severely burnt bodies were entwined in groups in "a final attempt to protect themselves", said rescuer Vassilis Andriopoulos.
Evangelos Bournous, the mayor of Rafina, blamed the winds.
Health ministry and police authorities said at least nine people were hospitalised from injuries in the fires, with three reported in serious condition in intensive care.
Malliri said Tuesday that strong winds have fanned the flames, with the fires spreading rapidly into inhabited areas, preventing people who are in their homes or in their cars from managing to flee.
Some of the survivors spent fraught hours choking on clouds of ash at the edge of the water as they waited for help.
The government said that 308 engineers will arrive on site by Wednesday to assess the damage.
The identification of the victims was to begin Tuesday in an area frequented by many foreign tourists.
Blazes started west of Athens near the town of Kineta, while further outbreaks started 18 miles east of Athens in Rafina.
A house burns during a wildfire in Kineta, near Athens. Israel, Turkey and Bulgaria also offered assistance.
A toll-free number was also set up for those trying to report people missing in the fires.
People watch a wildfire in the town of Rafina near Athens on July
Over the two days, 47 brush and forest fires broke out across Greece, with a lot of them quickly extinguished, the fire department said.
"It's a national tragedy", civil protection agency official Ioanna Tsoupra told public broadcaster ERT.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras cut short a visit to Bosnia on Monday and returned to Athens to preside over an emergency response meeting with fire chiefs and government officials.
Greece has been in the grip of hot weather since early July, temperatures hit highs of up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in the past few days.
Video footage showed inhabitants fleeing the fires by auto, with several buildings and homes damaged, as the region of Attica - which includes Athens - declared a state of emergency.
"If I hadn't left, I'd have been burned", a 67-year-old resident named Maria told AFP.
Tsipras said "all emergency forces" have been mobilised to battle the fires.
A third fire started in Hania.
Wildfires are not uncommon in Greece, and a relatively dry winter helped create the current tinder-box conditions. Monday's fire was one of several that broke out in the country amid a sweltering heat wave.
The inferno dominated front pages in the country on Tuesday, with headlines such as "killer fire" and "hell" and newspapers reporting fears the death toll would climb.
Some casualties occurred when people were stuck in their homes or vehicles, or when they drowned in the sea while trying to escape the flames.
Other northern European nations have been struggling to contain forest fires as the temperature shows no sign of dropping.
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