Turkey: fires continue to rage, death toll rises to four

Four thousand firefighters fight fires in Turkey. Dozens of houses have been burned down, villages have been evacuated, and the fire is approaching residential areas and hotels. Arson is suspected.

Forests are simultaneously burning in many regions of southern Turkey – Alanya, Manavgat, Adana, Bodrum, Mersin, Marmaris, not far from tourist areas. Strong winds spread the fire to residential areas, Turkish media reported.

Four people were killed, including a young, 25-year-old volunteer who traveled to Marmaris to help put out the fire, AMPE reported.

Bekir Pakdemirli, Minister of Agriculture of Turkey, says:

“According to the first information, 150 head of cattle and a thousand lambs were lost, 6,000 acres of agricultural land and 500 acres of greenhouses were damaged.”

The first fire broke out Wednesday in a forest in Manavgat, Antalya province, and spread rapidly with the help of strong winds. The authorities began to evacuate the villages, and a hotel in tourist Bodrum was also evacuated. Thick smoke covered the sky over the hotel complex in Manavgat. At least 183 people were hospitalized – three with burns, the rest with respiratory diseases due to smoke. Emergency services rescued 10 people from a trap in a floating lake surrounded by flames.

More than 4 thousand firefighters, helicopters and airplanes are trying to narrow the front of fire. The Russian embassy said three Russian firefighting planes had arrived to help extinguish the fire. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias expressed his sincere condolences to his colleague Mevluta Cavusoglu and declared Athens’ readiness to “provide assistance if needed,” the Greek Foreign Ministry reported.

Fires continue to rage, the temperature is stubbornly kept at around 40 ° C, and the wind speed reaches 50 km / h. Multiple bursts of fire indicate that arson may have been the cause of the fire. Antalya Mayor Mukhitin Bezek says:

The outbreak of a fire in Manavgat “in four different places” raises suspicions that “it was arson”, but “at the moment we do not have clear information.”

The state news agency Anatoli reports an investigation by the Marmaris prosecutor’s office. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promises: “All necessary support will be offered to our firefighters.”

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