Cyprus: Fire breaks out near Arakapas in Limassol

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A fire that broke out early this afternoon in the Arakapas village of Limassol, destroying many homes in the community, has also passed through Eptagonia and was nearing the Larnaca district villages of Melini, Vavatsinia and Ayious Vavatsinia, virtually surrounding the communities

The fire, fanned by strong winds, affected at least six communities in the foothills of the Troodos mountain range, an area of pine forest and densely vegetated shrubs.
The fire department, forestry commission, civil defense force and volunteers are all assisting with the fire.

"It is the worst forest fire in the history of Cyprus," Forestries Department Director Charalambos Alexandrou told Cyprus's Omega TV. Stringent attempts were being made to avert it crossing the mountains and stopping the blaze before reaching Machairas, a pine forestland and one of the highest peaks in Cyprus visible for miles around.

Greece also pledged to assist with two aircraft and Cyprus also asked the European Union, of which it is a member, for help.
“This is a tough day for Cyprus. All of the state’s mechanisms are in gear, and the priority is for no loss of life,” Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades tweeted.

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Mapping of the area by National Guard’s UAV is in progress, so as to identify the main hotspots of the fire.

Cypriot police arrested a man in connection to the fire late Saturday, according to the Cyprus MMail

Four Egyptian workers perished in the Cyprus fires. Trapped in their car trying to escape.