Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Turkey wildfires: Death toll rises to eight, EU sends help

The death toll from wildfires on Turkey’s southern coast rose to eight on Sunday as firefighters battled for a fifth day to contain blazes still raging.

Two more people died on Sunday due to wildfires in the southern town of Manavgat, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said, adding that 10 others were receiving treatment in a hospital in the area, Reuters reports.

More than 100 blazes that erupted in Turkey in the last five days have been contained, according to authorities. At least 13 planes, 45 helicopters, drones, and 828 fire-fighting vehicles were involved in firefighting efforts.

However, fires were still blazing in Manavgat and in Marmaris and the inland town of Milas, Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said, prompting the evacuation of some residential areas and hotels.

The Turkish government pledged to rebuild damaged homes and compensate for losses in areas affected by the fires. The fires have been fuelled by a southern European heatwave fed by hot air from North Africa. Experts have warned that climate change is increasing both the frequency and intensity of wildfires.

Turkey’s forestry directorate said 105 fires had been recorded in 35 towns and cities across the country since Wednesday.


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