Firefighters in both Greece and Cyprus are trying to control large wildfires that have broken out in forest areas.
Described as a “very difficult day” for Cyprus by President Nicos Anastasiades, Saturday saw the blaze in an area north of the cities of Limassol and Larnaca intensify at about midday.
Cypriot authorities have appealed for assistance from the EU and Israel to tackle the huge wildfire that has forced the evacuation of several villages and damaged dozens of properties so far.
“It is the worst forest fire in the history of Cyprus,” Director of the Department of Forests Charalambos Alexandrou said speaking to local media.
Meanwhile, a large fire is in progress in a forest area on the island of Kefalonia.
38 firefighters are operating in the area along with 3 ground teams, 8 vehicles, 2 water-dowsing aircraft, 1 air tractor, 4 tow trucks and 2 helicopters.
A total of 14 firefighters with 7 vehicles were also expected to arrive by boat from Patras and Kyllini to reinforce the local firefighting forces.
Due to the fire on the island, the organised evacuation of the entire population located in the area of Kapandriti was decided for precautionary reasons.
According to the Mayor of Argostoli, Theofilos Michalatos, the evacuation of the population is done “for reasons of protection of the people who are in the area.”
Speaking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA), the Mayor of Argostoli described the fire in Kapandriti as “dangerous due to the strong winds blowing in the area and the high temperatures”, while for the evacuation of the village he stated that “it was done following a suggestion of the Fire Brigade Commander.”