EU Sends Firefighting Aircraft to Help Cyprus Battle Forest BlazeEU | June 21, 2016, Tuesday // 20:41| views
Photo by EPA/BGNES
The European Commission said on Tuesday that it had taken immediate action to provide coordinated European support to Cyprus in response to the forest fire which broke out on the island on 19 June.
Cyprus had requested several firefighting planes and 80 tons of retardant material from the Commission to cope with the blaze in the Evrychou area, the Commission said in a statement.
The assistance, provided under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, includes two firefighting planes and two helicopters deployed by Greece to help stop the spread of the fires.
The UK and Israel have also contributed aircraft to fight the fire raging in the Troodos mountains.
The flames are said to have burned about 15 square kilometers of forest as of Tuesday.
On Monday, France sent two firefighting planes that were expected to arrive on Tuesday afternoon; another firefighting plane was also expected to arrive on Tuesday from Italy.
“We have responded quickly and in full solidarity to the call for assistance,” the EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, said in the statement.
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