International

Cyprus wildfires leave at least four dead in ‘unprecedented tragedy’

Written by Marisol

Four of the known victims of the fire have been identified as Egyptian nationals, Cyprus’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted on Sunday.

The fire broke out on Saturday near Arakapas village in the foothills of the Troodos mountain range, an area of pine forest and densely vegetated shrubland.

Cyprus has been experiencing a week-long heatwave, with temperatures surpassing 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit.)

Burned trees are seen on Troodos mountain, in Ora village, southwestern Cyprus, Sunday, July 4.
Heavy smoke covers the sky above the village of Ora in the southern slopes of the Troodos mountains, as a giant fire rages on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, on July 3.

The large fires forced the evacuation of several villages, according to Cyprus Fire Service. Dozens of properties were destroyed, the service said.

Unprecedented heat, hundreds dead and a town destroyed. Climate change is frying the Northern Hemisphere

One man has been arrested in connection with the fire, according to Cyprus Police, but authorities have not yet announced what caused the fire.

The fire is an “unprecedented tragedy,” Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades said in a live broadcast. “The blaze is under partial control,” he added.

Assistance from Greece and Israel is expected to arrive on Sunday, according to Anastasiades. EU’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations announced in a tweet Sunday that Italy and Greece are sending firefighting planes to support Cypriot authorities.



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