The Republic of Cyprus is responding to calls for help in the Greek wildfire near Athens, sending 60 first responders to a tourist area where dozens of people perished.
A Cypriot mission departed Tuesday morning with 64 first responders, including 20 fire fighters, 20 forest firefigthers, and 20 civil defence officials.
The fire in Mati, a small coastal town east of Athens, started Monday around noon in what was initially thought to be a situation that could be under control.
Witness reports of charred remains on the streets of a Greek village made headline news just before midnight
But very quickly the situation got out of hand with people being trapped and burned alive as they couldn’t escape. Others managed to flee the area and get to shore near water.
Witness reports of charred remains on the streets of a Greek village made headline news just before midnight.
Athens issued a call for help late Monday night, asking EU member states for any assistance.
A Greek C130, a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft, arrived at Larnaca International Airport (LCA) early morning and was scheduled to depart at 8:30am with the 60 first responders and four emergency medics.
Two additional fire fighting aircraft from Cyprus will also join the mission to Athens, while three planes from Spain were also on the way. An unmanned drone from the US is also expected to fly over and monitor the area.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined with media observers saying it was too early to rule out any scenarios.