By Bejay Browne
A FIRE at a garden waste site in Coral Bay in Paphos continues to smoulder, over a month after it was first reported, producing choking smoke fumes, which have left residents and visitors up in arms, according to the Green Party.
An announcement on Thursday by the Paphos District Committee of the Cyprus Green Party, said they are again receiving complaints from both residents and visitors at Coral Bay in Peyia, complaining that they are being ‘drowned’ by the choking smoke being produced by smouldering bio degradable material at a nearby garden waste site.
The initial blaze occurred over a month ago, and was reported on February 16; the site has since been closed and is unlikely to re-open after fire services battled to put it out.
A spokesman for the fire department said that due to the nature of the material and the depth of the fire, it could continue to smoke for a while yet. As mostly biological waste has been dumped at the site, biological processes will continue to feed the fire and produce choking smoke.
Over the last month the smoke has caused numerous complaints from the nearby Crown Resorts hotel, as well as residents, visitors and businesses at Coral Bay.
Although the municipality acted quickly and sent in bulldozers to try and control the fire, they have so far been unsuccessful.
The enormous waste site was created as a temporary measure by the previous council to be used for a year, that was more than five years ago.
The Greens said that they had communicated with Peyia municipality at the time of the fire and were assured that significant measures would be taken to prevent a recurrence.
However, they noted that despite the intervention of the Paphos District Office and other bodies, the situation remains the same.
Residents are ‘bombarding’ the Greens with calls that fumes from the burning continues, they said.
The Greens noted that as well as resident’s complaints, tourists staying in nearby hotels are protesting strongly at the ‘nuisance of smoke and the smell hanging in the air’ and are leaving Cyprus disappointed.
According to the Greens, a number of disgruntled visitors have threatened to complain to foreign media, which could have huge ramifications for Cyprus tourism, they said.
The announcement concluded that it expects the relevant authorities to directly address the issue.