The European Union will help cover the costs of the three member states who are helping to fight the devastating fire in the Troodos mountains.
After it became apparent that the fire could not be controlled, the Cyprus government requested several fire-fighting planes and 80 tonnes of retardant material from the European Commission.
“The EU stands by Cyprus to help in the response to this natural disaster”, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides said. “We have responded quickly and in full solidarity to the call for assistance. I commend the tremendous efforts of the first responders and would like to express our deepest condolences to the families of the firefighters who gave their lives to save their country. We are following the situation closely and are maintaining contact with the authorities in Nicosia.”.
Greece has already deployed two fire-fighting planes and two helicopters to help stop the spread of the fire, while France made three planes available, two for fire-fighting and one to help coordination. They were expected to arrive in the early evening Tuesday. Another Canadair plane is due to arrive from Italy also on Tuesday.
The mobilisation of assistance is coordinated through the Commission`s Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) which closely monitors developments around the clock. The European Commission then coordinates the voluntary offers made by participating states and can co-finance the transport of relief items and experts to the country in question.