Tourists are evacuated by boat from forest fires in Turkey – NRK Norway – Overview of news from different parts of the country

Turkish firefighters are battling massive forest fires on the fourth day. Two forest workers who took part in the firefighting work in Antalya in the south, lost their lives on Saturday, reports the state news agency Anadolu.

Thus, the fires this week have claimed six lives, of which five in Manavgat and one in Marmaris. Nearly 600 people have been injured.

In Bodrum on the Aegean Sea, some hotels were evacuated as a result of the threat of forest fires. The Coast Guard is leading the rescue operation, but the authorities asked private boats to assist in the evacuation efforts at sea as new fires broke out.

– Left the area quickly

Sigurd Alnes was in Bodrum when a new fire broke out at 13 local time on Saturday.

– I was told by Turkish friends, who followed the local news, that it was wise to get out of town as soon as possible when the fire first broke out.

Sigurd Alnes

Photo: Private

So I left the area pretty quickly, says Alnes, who is now at the airport in Bodrum.

By the time he left the city, the fire had just begun, on a mountainside above the city. Now the fire has spread, become bigger, and closer.

Alnes says that there have been reports that roads have been blocked so that the fire brigade will arrive, and that this makes it more difficult to get out of the area.

On Twitter, you see videos of tourists being evacuated from the city, and large flames that have crept inwards towards houses and hotels. City Mayor Ahmet Aras asking people to stay away from the streets, and do not drive on the roads unless absolutely necessary.

The heat in the country can also make it more difficult to control the fires. Alnes says it was 44 degrees in Bodrum on Friday.

Smoke from a forest fire up a mountainside above Bodrum.

Picture from when a new forest fire broke out in Bodrum at 13 local time. The flames have now spread.

Photo: Sigurd Alnes

At least ten active fires

Since Wednesday, the flames have engulfed forests and several homes in Turkey, come dangerously close to villages and tourist destinations and forced people to evacuate.

At least 101 fires have broken out under strong winds and scorching heat, and 91 of them have been brought under control, says Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Bekir Pakdemirli.

Three of the active fires are raging in the province of Antalya – a favorite tourist destination on the Mediterranean coast, where the wind has made the extinguishing work particularly difficult.

A helicopter flies over a forest fire area and pours out water.

A helicopter drops water over a forest fire near Manavgat in Antalya.

Photo: AP

Fire-affected districts in five provinces have been declared disaster areas by Turkish authorities.

In the city of Manavgat, where several houses have already been taken by the flames, two more neighborhoods were evacuated for safety on Saturday, according to Anadolu.

Fire-affected districts in five provinces have been declared disaster areas by Turkish authorities.

In the city of Manavgat, where several houses have already been taken by the flames, two more neighborhoods were evacuated for safety on Saturday, according to Anadolu.

The President is visiting

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the area on Saturday and inspected the damage from a helicopter.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan looks out of a plane window.  From the window you can see smoke rising from the forest fire.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan flew over forest fires in Manavgat in Antalya province on Saturday.

Photo: AP

In a speech in Manavgat, he announced that the government will cover the rent for fire victims, as well as rebuild their homes. They will also have deferred collection of taxes, social security contributions and loan installments, and small businesses will receive loans with zero interest rates.

The number of aircraft involved in the firefighting work has increased from six to 13 after Ukraine, Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran came to the rescue, according to Erdogan.

Several thousand Turkish firefighters and dozens of helicopters and drones are also assisting.

A man walks through thick smoke.

A man walks through thick smoke as a result of a forest fire near Manavgat.

Photo: – / AFP

Forest fires are common in these parts of Turkey during the dry summer months. On average, more than 2,600 fires have broken out annually in the last ten years, but last year the number increased to almost 3,400, according to the Turkish Agricultural Association, according to the news agency AFP.

Investigating the fires

Turkish authorities are investigating the fires that broke out during the ongoing heat wave, and are trying to find out if any of them may have been started.

A man looking at a large flame in a forest in Turkey.

A forest fire is raging in the village of Kacarlar near Manavgat in Antalya on Saturday.

Photo: AP

Intense heat of over 40 degrees is forecast for the next few days both in neighboring Greece and along the Turkish south coast.

Several Mediterranean countries have been affected by forest fires, and in Sicily in Italy, the fire crews fought against dozens of fires in the heat on Saturday. Around 150 people were evacuated from two beach areas in the city of Catania late Friday night.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.