At Least Four Dead in Worst Forest Fire in Decades in Cyprus

At least four people have died in Cyprus from an ongoing forest fire that officials described as the worst seen in decades.

Authorities found four bodies identified as the Egyptian nationals they had been searching for in a mountainous area outside the village of Odos in Larnaca district as the island country battles an ongoing blaze in the area, according to a statement from Cypriot Interior Minister Nikos Nouris on July 4.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said on Twitter that the government will provide immediate assistance to the victims and the families of the victims.

Anastasiades also described the fire as a “tragedy” and “the biggest fire since 1974.”

The fire first broke out on July 3 near the Arakapas village in the foothills of the Troodos mountain range as Cyprus has been experiencing a heatwave for a week.

Government Spokesperson Niovi Parisinou said that the situation was close to being brought under control.

Nouris said that all efforts have been focused on the two large hotspots left, which are located between the villages of Vavatsinias and Odos.

Cyprus also received assistance from the European Union and Israel, which sent firefighting planes to help extinguish the flames.

Cypriot police have arrested a 67-year-old man in suspicion of causing the fire, but authorities have not yet announced what caused the fire.

Authorities also warned that the fire could resurge.

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