Cyprus Mail

Possible mosquito plague link to Larnaca fire

Firefighters at the fire in Larnaca on Tuesday evening

By Evie Andreou

THE FIRE that broke out in Larnaca near Phaneromeni Avenue on Tuesday could have been deliberately started, but it was up to the fire service to determine, the town’s mayor Andreas Louroudjiatis said on Wednesday.

The fire that started near Kamares early Tuesday evening threatened a petrol station and nearby residences before being brought under control. Social media commentators have hinted that the blaze could have been set deliberately either to destroy the vegetation near the salt lake which has been plagued with mosquitoes in recent weeks, or as a protest at what residents have said is a lack of action by local authorities to destroy the insects.

Two weeks ago Larnaca residents told the Cyprus Mail that they avoided leaving their windows open and that the infestation was so severe, that mosquitoes seem “like fog over trees”.

This year’s heavy rainfall and dense shrubbery are two factors that contributed to the mosquito infestation, Louroudjiatis told the CyBC.

“There is suspicion of arson also by the fire service because there was another fire in the same area two days ago,” he said.

He said that the municipality already sprayed the area on Monday and another session is scheduled for Thursday, but that this measure is not enough.

“The mosquito problem will not end… the aim is to deal with mosquitoes before they hatch and that is already been achieved through sprayings but there is so much water this year and a lot of vegetation and this means several hatching areas,” Louroudjiatis said.

Louroudjiatis said that the area where the fire broke out lies within a designated Natura 2000-protected site where shrubbery is very dense and poses fire hazards.

“Yesterday’s fire was put under control by the fire service quickly but it could have spread rapidly,” he said.

He said that because the area is designated as a protected eco system, municipal interference has to be limited to the minimum.

He added that the fire had threatened residences and lives and that the municipality, in cooperation with the fire service wants to create firewalls in the area, so clearing some areas from shrubbery is imperative.

The fire service’s spokeswoman Constantia Demetriou told the Cyprus Mail that the cause of fire is still under investigation.


Aerial mosquito spraying


Larnaca municipality has announced that aerial mosquito spraying will take place on Thursday between 8.30 am and 11.30am.

The sprayings will cover the areas around the salt lakes, as well as Soros Lake in Meneou and the Voroklini Lake.

While they are underway, roads in Voroklini leading to the Voroklini fire service traffic lights, around the Tekke and around the Soros Lake in Meneou will be closed to traffic.

The aerial spraying, using eco-friendly substances, will be conducted at a low altitude by a yellow Air Tractor 802 with registration number FD-1, the municipality said.

For more information, call the Larnaca Municipality Health Services at 24816559 and 24816557, Dromolaxia-Meneou municipality at 24422414 or the Voroklini community council at 24644744.

If the weather is unsuitable, the aerial spraying will be carried out same time on Friday.



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