A wildfire that started in Cyprus on Saturday afternoon (LT), July 3, 2021, rapidly grew over the weekend and turned into the island's worst wildfire since 1960 when the Republic of Cyprus was established. At least 4 people have been killed and dozens of homes destroyed.
"It is the worst forest fire in the history of Cyprus," Forestries Department Director Charalambos Alexandrou said.
The main fire was brought under control Sunday morning, and the rest of it on Monday, July 5.
Four bodies were found near the village of Odos in Larnaca district's 'most catastrophic fire since the founding of the Republic of Cyprus' in terms of material damage.
"All the indications support the fact that these are the four missing persons we have been searching for since yesterday," Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said.
All four casualties were Egyptian farm laborers aged in their 20s and 30s. They were killed by the fire as they tried to escape on foot after their car plunged into a ravine, AFP reports.
Authorities sent more than 600 people to fight the blaze, along with a dozen aircraft and 70 fire trucks, and a reconnaissance drone.
The fire scorched 55 km2 (21 mi2) of the Troodos Mountains, destroyed at least 50 homes, damaged power lines, and forced the evacuation of 10 villages.
The police said they are questioning a 67-year-old farmer on suspicion of starting the blaze. He was reportedly seen by an eyewitness leaving the village of Arakapas in his car at the same time the fire started there.
Featured image credit: Sky News Australia (stillshot)
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