Cyprus asks for help from Israel, EU to put out forest fires
A huge forest fire is spreading through a mountain range in Cyprus. Pic: AP

Greek Cyprus on Saturday asked Israel and the European Union to provide it with specialized aircraft to help put out forest fires fanned by strong winds and high temperatures, forcing many residents to evacuate their villages.

The fires spread from the village of Arakaba, near Limassol, to many properties in adjacent areas, but no injuries were reported.

With Cyprus exposed to a continuous heatwave for a week in which the temperature exceeded 40 degrees Celsius, several villages in the Larnaca region were also evacuated in anticipation.

Fires are raging on several fronts, while off-duty firefighters have been called in.

More than 20 fire engines, six helicopters, and four planes are working to combat the fire, with the support of British forces stationed on the Mediterranean island.

Thick smoke was seen around the southern city of Larnaca, 40 km from Limassol.

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