Nicosia, Jul 5 (EFE).- The worst forest fire in the history of Cyprus, which has killed four people, has been put under control, the Cypriot authorities announced on Monday.
“The fire that started at noon on Saturday, July 3 in the village of Arakapa (…) was under total control today,” the forestry department of the agriculture ministry said in a statement.
The blaze claimed the lives of four Egyptian farm workers employed in the village of Odou, adjacent to where the fire broke out.
Cyprus’ president Nikos Anastasiadis pledged economic aid to the families of the four victims, aged between 25 and 30 years.
His Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi dispatched two helicopters to help tackle the fire that has destroyed 55 square kilometers of forest and farmland, according to official figures.
“The General Command of the Armed Forces ordered the preparation of two helicopters, equipped with the most advanced technology, to participate together with the Cypriot authorities in extinguishing the fire,” the Egyptian Army said in a statement.
Italy, Israel, and Greece have sent air support to Cyprus.
Authorities have evacuated several small towns, where dozens of properties have been impacted.
A man in his 60s was arrested in the port city of Limassol after a witness claimed he saw him burning shrubs near the area where flames were first reported. EFE