Cyprus Sends Emergency Fire Aid To Greece
Cyprus has sent emergency fire services aid to assist Greek firefighters to extinguish out-of-control fires in eastern Attiki on the outskirts of Athens.
A fire services helicopter, 16 forest fire fighters and two forestry departments vehicles are on their way to Greece. The helicopter has a four-member crew and was sent upon a request from Athens, said a report from the Cyprus News Agency. All teams have been sent to various points of Nea Makri.
“We are ready, if asked, to send help, to assist in the way we did in 2007” said the Head of the Fire Services Andreas Nikolaou.
Three Greek C-130 transport planes will carry more firemen and fire brigade vehicles from Cyprus to Greece said Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis.
Cyprus aims to send a 90-person team, consisting of firefighters and specialised volunteers together with their fire brigade vehicles, he added.
More than 90 fires ignited over the weekend and are threatening Athens suburbs Agios Stefanos and Pallini, burning down homes and forcing thousands to evacuate the area. High winds are currently fanning the flames of six major fires and making it difficult for the fire services to extinguish the blazes.
President Demetris Christofias has contacted President Karolos Papoulias and Prime Minister of Greece Kostas Karamanlis to express sympathy and solidarity with the people of Greece.