Fires in Turkey | Thermal power plant threatened, 300 people evacuated

(Hisaronu) Greece was hit by new forest fires on Tuesday, especially north of Athens, where around 300 people were evacuated according to fire fighters, while in Turkey, where eight people were killed in the fires, flames on a heating plant in Milas , in Turkey’s south of the country.

Posted on Aug 3, 2021 at 7:01 am Updated at 7:51 pm

Kadir DEMIR Agence France-Presse

On Tuesday afternoon, the fire was still not under control and, according to the mayor of Milas Muhammet Tokat, “passed the critical point”.

“If we can’t stop the fire with an air strike […], it will lead in the direction of the thermal power station. The situation is very serious, “he was alarmed on Monday evening in a video that he shared on Twitter.

Turkey suffers from the worst fires in a decade, devastating forests and agricultural land, and inhabited areas on the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts.

Extreme conditions

In neighboring Albania, a 64-year-old man was killed in a forest fire in the southern Gjirokastrale region on Tuesday, in which hundreds of firefighters and soldiers fought dozens of fires, police said.

A total of nine homes were active in the country on Tuesday evening.

Farther south, Greece faced nearly 80 fires on Tuesday, 40 of which are still active, according to Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias.

“In Attica we are faced with extreme conditions with temperatures around 45 ° C,” he said.

After Mount Penteli last week, it was Mount Parnes, the second of three hills on the border with Athens, that caught fire on Tuesday, spreading thick smoke over the Greek capital.

As the fires neared the houses, three villages at the foot of Mount Parnes, about thirty kilometers northwest of Athens, were evacuated, according to the fire department.

“It’s a tragedy,” confided the television station Skai Spyros Vrettos to the mayor of the capital Acharnon. “Fortunately, nobody’s life is in danger.”

In Turkey and Cyprus, violent heat waves caused ground temperatures to rise to over 50 degrees Celsius for the second time in a month, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced on Tuesday.

These temperatures are the ones that one would feel if one touched the ground at a certain point, so the statements of NASA.

In the past few days, temperatures above forty degrees (air) in several cities in Turkey have led to record increases in electricity consumption, which on Monday led to blackouts in major cities such as Ankara and Istanbul.

An AFP team in the Aegean city of Marmaris saw farmers pull their animals out of their burning stalls and drive them to a beach.

“One of my cows died. She burned. I’ve never seen anything like it. I can’t even call it a fire. It was like a bomb, ”said Mevlut Tarim, a farmer from Hisaronu near Marmaris.

Lack of water bombers

The European Union sent three depth bombers to help Turkey fight the fires.

Ankara has already borrowed planes from Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Iran, but the country has been feeling the effects of the gradual disappearance of its own fleet of Canadairs in recent years.

The largest opposition party, the CHP (Republican People’s Party, Social Democrat), accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of dismantling the infrastructure of a semi-public organization that had held water bombers in the past and was responsible for fighting fires.

The Turkish head of state also angered many Turks on social media for throwing tea bags at confused residents when he visited the affected city of Marmaris with a heavy police escort last weekend.

In view of the growing voices in social networks criticizing the government for insufficient intervention, President Fahrettin Altun, head of communications for the presidency, lamented “false news” spread to create the impression of a “weak” Turkey.

For its part, the Turkish Audiovisual Council (RTUK in Turkish) has warned television broadcasters not to spread information about the fires which could “cause fear and concern” among the population.

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