Cyprus: A huge forest fire kills at least four in southwest Cyprus

Cyprus: A huge forest fire kills at least four in southwest Cyprus

At least four people have died due to the massive Arakapas forest fire around the Troodos mountain range in southwestern Cyprus, which affects at least six mountain-side communities, and is already being regarded as the worst of the history of the country.

The deceased have been identified as four Egyptian workers from a farm in the Odou area who have been found dead inside a vehicle, as confirmed by the Minister of the Interior, Nicos Nourris.

Nourris has indicated that the teams have started their damage assessments this morning and has pleaded with the volunteers not to go to the area alone. Likewise, the minister explained that he is in permanent contact with President Nicos Anastasiades, who will visit the area later.

For his part, the spokesman for the Cypriot Government, Marios Pelekanos, reported this Sunday that the flames are relatively controlled within a security perimeter, but several sources are still active.

“We are optimistic, but the situation is still difficult,” he declared at a press conference collected by the ‘Cyprus Mail’, in which he reiterated the complex situation faced by the fire services given the steep terrain of the area.

This Saturday at the last minute the European Commission activated the Civil Protection Mechanism to send support planes to the air units and the incorporation of Israeli aircraft is expected.

The EU has also activated its Copernicus satellite in order to carry out a damage assessment.

Ben Oakley
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