Arsonists spark a massive forest fire in Southern Turkey that caused 500 people to lose their homes and hundreds more to flee after the blaze hit the coastal town of Manavgat nine miles away
- Residents of four neighbourhoods were evacuated as Manavgat’s streets were engulfed in flames and smoke
- At least 500 people lost their homes to the flames while dozens of hectares of forest cover were burnt
- Fire spread to the town after being fanned by strong winds through Thursday, but no casualties were reported
- A firefighting plane, 19 helicopters, 108 vehicles, and 400 personnel were dispatched to tackle the flames
A forest fire thought to be caused by arsonists in southern Turkey has left 500 people homeless and forced hundreds more to flee after it spread nine miles to coastal town Manavgat.
Security forces helped move hundreds of residents out of four neighborhoods in the town out of the fire’s path after it was fanned by strong winds causing it to spread rapidly on Wednesday.
The government’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) said around 30 people were ‘affected’ by the fire in the Mediterranean coastal town, but did not provide details.
Antalya mayor Muhittin Bocek said the fire said it was likely the fire was an act of arson because it was started in four different locations.
‘But we do now have clear information about that at this stage’, he added.
A forest fire in southern Turkey spread to the town of Manavgat after the flames were fanned by strong winds on Wednesday, forcing authorities to evacuate homes
Antalya mayor Muhittin Bocek said the fire said it was likely the fire was an act of arson because it was started in four different locations
Security forces helped move hundreds of residents out of four neighborhoods in the town out of the fire’s path as firefighters worked to control the blaze
The government’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) said around 30 people were ‘affected’ by the fire in the Mediterranean coastal town, but did not provide details
Agriculture Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said authorities were battling the flames with a firefighting plane, 19 helicopters, 108 vehicles and 400 personnel, and that the fire was partially under control
Footage showed streets being engulfed in smoke and flames, spreading as far as the town centre. Plumes of black smoke were seen rising from the surrounding forest, blocking out the sky.
The flames have so far destroyed dozens of hectares of forest cover as well as several buildings.
Agriculture Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said authorities were battling the flames with a firefighting plane, 19 helicopters, 108 vehicles and 400 personnel, and that the fire was partially under control.
‘Our job now is to fight the fire,’ the minister said in televised remarks. ‘There will be an investigation and the causes will be determined later.’
Security forces assess the forest fire in southern Turkey’s Manavgat region after black plumes of smoke covered the sky on Wednesday
Efforts to extinguish the fire were underway on Wednesday, hours after the flames and smoke reached the town of Manavgat
Mayor Sukru Sozen said the fire was growing because of strong winds of up to 50km an hour.
‘It’s impossible for us to determine the size of the damage, there is damage in the villages too. We have not seen anything like this,’ he told broadcaster Haberturk.
Governor Yigit denied earlier media reports that patients at a hospital in Manavgat were being transferred to another location, but said the hospitals in the area were placed on alert.
Tourists resorts in the region weren’t affected, Yigit added.
Turkey’s AFAD disaster agency said emergency teams from nearby provinces were also called into action, while authorities evacuated settlements near the forest.
Antalya, a popular destination for both foreign and local tourists, is known for its scorching summer heat. Bocek said the extreme heat and strong winds were fanning the fire as it swept through the pine forest.
The fire comes as Turkey battles with a series of disasters caused by extreme weather conditions in recent weeks.
Earlier this month, flash floods in the Black Sea provinces of Rize and Artvin damaged homes and property. The floods killed six people in Rize, according to AFAD.
Smoke covers the sky as people leave their homes because of a forest fire in Manavgat district in southern Turkey
A woman flees her home after it was engulfed in smoke and flames when a forest fire swept across Turkey’s Manavagat district
Smoke covers the sky as residents leave their homes as a forest fire engulfs their homes in Antalya’s Manavgat district
A view from a damaged house after a forest fire broke out in Manavgat district of Turkey’s southern Antalya province on Wednesday
Source: Read Full Article