Major forest fire evacuations Turkey: at least 4 deaths and 200 injured

In southern Turkey, including the tourist resorts of Bodrum and Marmaris, the government has allowed tourists to evacuate from their hotels because of the heavy forest fires in the region. The strong winds made the fire close to the hotels. The evacuations occurred in some places with boats, as can be seen on social media. Fire was also raging near Antalya attraction. At least 4 people have died and nearly 200 people are in the hospital.

Images show black smoke plumes from the forest around Manavgat, which is about 75 kilometres east of the tourist city of Antalya. Mayor Sukru Sozen said the flames had spread to the center of the city, where many buildings were evacuated. โ€œIt is still impossible to determine the extent of the damage at the moment. Several villages were also affected. Weve never seen anything like this before,โ€ Sozen said to Habertรผrk.

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Ten people stranded in a dam near Manavgat were rescued. Eighteen villages in the area had to be evacuated due to smoke nuisance, and villages and hotels also had to be evacuated in neighbouring provinces.

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In the province of Mugla, the flames came about 40 metres from Marmaris houses and hotels and reached the gardens of two five-star hotels near Milas. There, as a precaution, the police evacuated the holidaymakers on the beach. Some boat owners helped tourists escape. In Bodrum, too, the fire came close to the hotels and tourists had to be evacuated. The flames approached the city centre.

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In several places, houses were destroyed, and in some neighborhoods the power was cut off.

In the capital, Istanbul, according to social media reports, a fire in a restaurant also hit the surrounding forest during the night of Thursday to Friday.

At

least four dead

At least three people died in the province of Antalya, according to Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Bekir Pakdemirli. Osman and Sehir Kardas left life in the Manavgat region after trying to divert their sheep away. As the fire approached, they hid in their home for fear, their son says. โ€œMy father called and said, The fire has surrounded the house. โ€ His parents bodies were found in the kitchen and in the toilet. It investigates why the doors of their house were locked.

Near Akseki, an 82-year-old man who was home alone, while his village was evacuated, Anadolu reports. In the meantime, according to the state agency, there would have been another fourth deaths in the province.

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Also in Marmaris, in the province of Mugla, a citizen left life, Minister Pakdemirli reported. CNN Tรผrk reports that 25-year-old Sahin Akdemir, who worked in the tourism sector, like many citizens, was helping the fire brigade. He did that at the Icmeler tourist resort, near Marmaris. When he tried to bring water to firefighters with his motorcycle, he was surrounded by the flames.

About

two hundred people would have been injured in the fires and transferred to the hospital.

Wind makes extinguishing Difficult

There are dozens of trouble spots that have arisen in the last few days, including in the regions of Antalya, Alanya, Mersin and Adana. Much of the forest fires are now under control, but at least 10 places the fire is still raging, reports Anadolu state agency. Minister Pakdemirli reported late Thursday night on Twitter that about 20 out of 63 fires are not under control yet.

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Some 4,000 firefighters fight fires from the ground and from the air, including 38 helicopters and 3 aircraft. The extinguishers are hampered by persistent strong winds.

The Turkish regions are facing a heat wave and there is a lot of wind while it is very dry.

This allowed the fire to spread quickly. Fire brigades and meteorologists suspect that all fires have been lit or at least accidental caused by humans.

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Numerous rumors are about who started the fires. It sounded like two picked up โ€œPKK terroristsโ€ were behind one of the trouble spots, but that was later decommissioned. In Marmaris, witnesses believe that the fire was caused by two children aged 8 and 10 years of age playing. Thats being investigated.

In Manavgat, police struggled to evacuate two people whose residents suspected to attack the forest fire. An angry crowd attacked the two and later set fire to their wagon. The fire brigade extinguished the vehicle, and riot police were sent on the spot in an attempt tothree thousand citizens to separate. According to the authorities, it is not yet clear whether the two visioned persons have anything to do with the forest fire.

France, Spain and Italy

Both northeast Spain and southwest France and several regions in Italy have also been affected by forest fires.

To the west of Barcelona, more than a thousand hectares of forest and farmland have been laid in ash. The flames have so far laid 1,100 hectares of forest and farmland in ash, according to the Catalan Forest Management Service. According to local media, its the biggest natural fire of the year in forested Catalonia. As has already reached parts of Barcelona.

The Italian emergency services continued their efforts on Thursday to control the countrys growing forest fires. At the moment, according to the fire department, there are about 240 fires.

The Italian regions have submitted as many as 34 requests for assistance from extinguishing aircraft, Italian civil protection confirmed Thursday. The calls came from Calabria to the south, Lazio, where the capital Rome is located, and the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. The drought, heat and strong winds have sparked fires in recent days.

Northern Italy, on the other hand, has a different type of storm, with heavy rains causing flooding. The provinces along Lake Como in Lombardy have been hardest hit.