TWO GROUPS of Cypriot tourists in Nice, where 84 people were killed in a terrorist attack on Thursday night, were safe and unharmed, chairman of Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA) Dinos Kakkouras said on Friday.
A total of 75 Cypriots were holidaying in Nice through Top Kinisis and Xenos travel agencies.
“We have spoken to the offices, the leaders of the groups and they have informed us that all is well. They will continue their trip unimpeded,” Kakkouras told the Cyprus News Agency.
A group of 35 tourists and another of 30 did not intend to cut short their holiday in the south of France, he said.
“As of now we do not have any information about individuals or other groups of Cypriots that have travelled in the area.”
Menelaos Menelaou, who heads the centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Cyprus was near the scene with two students as part of a project, and told CyBC radio: “There were thousands of people, tourists, young children, adults, locals, lots of people.”
“We were about 250 metres away from the where the truck was. At about 10:20pm people started going back to their hotels. At some point we heard bangs, they may have been gunshots…”
Although there was panic, Menelaou said they only realised what happened when they got back to their hotel. On their way they saw police in the streets and by the time they got to their rooms “the roads had been evacuated and all you could hear was ambulances and police.”
Asked if the attack would affect future trips, Kakkouras said “people will most likely refrain from making reservations in these areas. We will see how this will develop with information we will receive from French authorities.”
President Nicos Anastasiades, currently on a trip in Mongolia, offered his condolences to the victims’ families, relatives and friends, and to the people of France.
— Nicos Anastasiades (@AnastasiadesCY) July 15, 2016
Cypriots who are in France or who are planning to travel there are advised to closely monitor instructions issued by the French authorities and news reports.
The ministry of foreign affairs as well as the embassy of Cyprus in France can be reached for any questions at +33147208628, +35722651295 or +35722651060.
If anyone has concerns about a friend or relative in France they cannot reach, the above numbers are available to help, the ministry said.
For calls out of office hours, dial +35799660129