EU Sends Experts, Disaster Relief
The team of experts will start arriving on July 15th, said Kristalina Georgieva, commissioner for international cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response.
Just a few hours after the explosion, a contractor at Vassiliko told CyprusNewsReport.com that he doesn't expect the damage to one of the main fuel tankers to be fixed for at least two years. There was extensive structural damage to two of the tankers, which buckled under the pressure of the shockwave that radiated from the blast zone.
The EU will also send generators to help restore the electricity supply to the island. In the four days since the explosion, there have been power cuts of at least two hours per day. Vassiliko was the largest and most modern power plant here, built because other plants are much older and cannot supply the island's demand for electricity.
As of the day of the explosion on July 11th, there have been daily power cuts of up to two hours, and the cuts are set to double to four hours in some areas, said the electricity authority.
The island's residents are struggling to get back to normal life as the 13 victims of the blast are buried.
"I want to express my deep sympathy for all those who have been affected by this tragic event. The European Commission will help Cyprus cope in this difficult moment," said Georgieva.
"My colleagues and I are impressed by the heroism of the Cypriots who risked their lives fighting the disaster," she said.
The European Civil Protection Mechanism is responsible for disaster response among 31 European states (EU-27 plus Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).
The participating countries pool the resources that can be made available to disaster-stricken countries all over the world. When activated, the Mechanism coordinates the provision of assistance inside and outside the European Union.