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Cyprus asks EU and Israel for help as huge forest fire forces evacuations

Written by on 03/07/2021

Cyprus has approached the European Union and Israel for help as a huge forest engulfs villages on the south of the island.

At least three villages have been evacuated on the Mediterranean island as authorities battle to fight the blaze in the Troodos mountain region.

Cypriot environment minister Costas Kadis said that the flames had already burned through “huge tracts of forest”, as well as properties in the village of Arakpas.

Fire on a mountain as a smoke is seen on the sky at Larnaca mountain region on Saturday, July 3, 2021. Cyprus has asked fellow European Union member states on Saturday to help battle a huge fire in a mountainous region of the east Mediterranean island nation that has forced the evacuation of at least three villages. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
Image: Authorities have asked neighbours for help in battling the blaze. Pic: AP
A helicopter flies overa forest fire, in the Larnaca mountain region, Saturday, July 3, 2021. Cyprus has asked fellow European Union nations to help battle a huge forest fire in a mountainous region of the east Mediterranean island nation that has forced the evacuation of at least three villages. Cypriot Environment Minister Costas Kadis told state broadcaster Saturdasy that the fire has claimed “huge tracts of forest” and private property near the village of Arakapas in the Troodos mountain ran
Image: Aircraft are attempting to put the fire out. Pic: AP

Photos show smoke and flames rising from miles around – blocking out the sun and forcing firefighters to battle the blaze from the air.

Cyprus government spokesman Marios Pelekanos told the media that the size of the fire is “concerning”, adding that Greece and Israel has pledged to send aircraft to the region.

There are already four Cypriot planes helping to tackle the fire, but strong winds and searing temperatures are making it difficult.

According to officials, firefighters were being called in from their day off to help efforts.

 Sky News

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