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Cyprus president to discuss preparedness for natural disasters and fires

President Christodoulidis is set to chair a meeting to discuss preparedness for natural disasters and fires in Cyprus.

The meeting, slated to take place on Tuesday morning, will be held in the presence of the Ministers of Interior, Agriculture, Justice and Defense and the Special Adviser on Crisis Management and Policy.

The Department of Forestry and the Fire Service will update ministers on their preparedness in relation to the operational capability to protect forests during the blistering summer months.

The meeting will also touch on the issue of aviation and the leasing of firefighting helicopters and airplanes.

In the last few years Cyprus has been blighted by summer forest fires. Between 8th of March 2021 and 4th of March 2024, the island experienced a total of 723 VIIRS Alerts fire alerts.

Fires were responsible for 72% of tree cover loss in Cyprus between 2001 and 2022.

On 3 July 2021, wildfires broke out near the village of Arakapas during a week-long heat wave that saw temperatures surpass 40 °C. The fires spread throughout the Limassol District before being put out two days later with assistance from Greece, Israel, Italy, and the United Kingdom. They were described as the worst fires in the country’s history. Four Egyptian men were killed, and a 67-year-old farmer was arrested in relation to the starting of the initial fire.

Famagusta Gazette