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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-06-29

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [02] EU - CYPRUS - BLAZE


    Two fire fronts still raged out of control at the islands scenic mountains, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of people to nearby hotels and destroying properties.

    President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos and cabinet members gathered at a temporary Crisis Management Centre near Saitas, site of the start of the fire, believed to have been caused by high voltage electrical cables, to decide how to tackle what was described as the worst forest fire in decades at the islands picturesque mountains.

    The blaze, fanned by strong winds and a scorching heatwave in its seventh day, spread rapidly, sending thick plumes of smoke into the sky, visible from the capital Nicosia, about 55 km away.

    Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment Minister Fotis Fotiou said two of the four fronts were under control but efforts concentrated on the ones which still razed uncontrollably at Amiantos and Kato Potami.

    These fronts are out of control, they are considered very serious and I hope we manage to control them because they border the Troodos forest, said Fotiou. Ground forces, fire trucks and Forest Department workers have formed a shield at the two fronts in an effort to prevent the fire from spreading to the pine-covered Troodos range.

    Minister Fotiou said there was no danger for nearby residents, noting that residents of Pelentri and Amiantos villages were evacuated as a precautionary measure.

    President Papadopoulos left the area after presiding over an extraordinary meeting with members of the cabinet and authorities to decide on action, while two planes from Italy are expected by the early hours to assist in putting out the blaze. Israel is also expected to send a plane by Saturday and efforts by air will resume at daylight. Air units from the British military bases in Cyprus were also helping to fight the fires.

    House President Demetris Christofias expressed the hope that by morning the situation will improve and the Fire Authorities will be able to completely handle the blaze.

    He also said the government`s concern is to protect the people and assured all measures will be taken towards this.

    Opposition leader, Democratic Rally President Nicos Anastasiades, described the blaze as a very sad event which is causing grief noting the forest will not be easily restored.

    The unprecedented fire had prompted the President to cancel his afternoon schedule while the Democratic Partys Central Committee which was due to convene on Saturday was postponed due to the fire.

    Minister of Justice and Public Order Sofoclis Sofocleous interrupted his official visit to Armenia and was returning to the island to join in the efforts to put the fire under control.

    [02] EU - CYPRUS - BLAZE

    EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mariann Fischer Boel, expressed the Commissions solidarity with the people affected by the disastrous fire which broke out in the Troodos forest, in central Cyprus.

    Boel, who is currently in Cyprus for an official visit, witnessed first hand the destruction caused by the terrible natural disaster, and expressed her solidarity with all those affected.

    A press release issued by the European Commission says that Boel, who is also responsible for European forestry policy, visited the scene of the devasting forest fires in Cyprus and expressed the readiness of the EU to assist Cyprus, should the government ask for help.

    Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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