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Monday, July 26, 2021
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Four dead in Cyprus forest fire

Four people were found dead on Saturday (July 3) as a huge fire raged for a second day in Cyprus, razing tracts of forest in a blaze one official called the worst on record.

The blaze, fanned by strong winds, affected at least 10 communities over an area of 50 square kilometres (19 square miles) in the foothills of the Troodos mountain range, an area of pine forest and densely vegetated shrubland.

Social media video shot from inside a car on Saturday (July 3) showed fire and plumes of smoke billowing around the mountains.

The victims, thought to be Egyptian nationals, were found dead close to the community of Odou, a mountainous community north of the cities of Limassol and Larnaca.

The EU’s executive, the European Commission, said fire-fighting planes had departed from Greece to battle the fire and Italy was also planning to send aerial fire-fighters.

Attempts were being made to prevent the blaze from crossing the mountains and stop it before reaching Machairas, a pine forestland and one of the highest peaks in Cyprus.

The cause of the fire, which started around midday on Saturday (July 3), was unclear. Cyprus experiences high temperatures in the summer months, with temperatures in recent days exceeding 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit). Police said they were questioning a 67 year old person in connection with the blaze.

(Production: Paul Warren, Hazem Sika)

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