Cyprus wildfires leave at least four dead

At least four people have died in Cyprus from an ongoing wildfire ravaging the country, the country’s Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said Sunday.

Four of the known victims of the fire have been identified as Egyptian nationals, Cyprus’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted on Sunday.

The fire broke out on Saturday near Arakapas village in the foothills of the Troodos mountain range, an area of pine forest and densely vegetated shrubland.

The large fires forced the evacuation of several villages, according to Cyprus Fire Service. Dozens of properties were destroyed, the service said.

One man has been arrested in connection with the fire, according to Cyprus Police, but authorities have not yet announced what caused the fire.

The fire is an “unprecedented tragedy,” Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades said in a live broadcast. “The blaze is under partial control,” he added.

Assistance from Greece and Israel is expected to arrive on Sunday, according to Anastasiades. EU’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations announced in a tweet Sunday that Italy and Greece are sending firefighting planes to support Cypriot authorities.