Four Dead In ‘Most Destructive’ Fire Cyprus Has Ever Seen
Four people have died in a fire in Cyprus, which has been described as the ‘most destructive’ blaze the country has ever seen.
On Sunday, July 4, Civil Defense volunteers found the remains of four people just outside the mountainous village of Odou.
Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said authorities are currently trying to confirm whether or not the bodies are those of four Egyptian men who been reported missing, and who search crews had been attempting to locate.
Nouris told AP News:
We are experiencing the most destructive fire since the founding of the Cyprus republic in both material damage, but also unfortunately in terms of human lives.
President Nicos Anastasiades has described the deadly fire as ‘an unprecedented tragedy’ in a tweet, stating that it was ‘the largest fire since 1974’.
Anastasiades was referring here to the devastation wreaked by a 1974 war that divided the island nation along ethnic lines after the invasion of Turkey.
Speaking with Cyrpus’s Omega TV, Director of the Department of Forests Charalambos Alexandrou said, ‘It is the worst forest fire in the history of Cyprus’, adding that the perimeter of the blaze extended for ‘at least 40km (25 miles)’.
The fire began on Saturday afternoon, and has so far destroyed more than 50 square kilometers (20 square miles) of pine forest and orchards. It has also forced the evacuation of at least eight mountain villages and destroyed a number of homes.
Cyprus has seen a week-long heatwave, with temperatures soaring to highs of 40°C (104°F), as per BBC News. Firefighters are now working to stop the flames from spreading across a mountainous region and tearing through the Machairas Forest.
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