There is an “obvious” risk of fire in the Geri – Dali industrial area, House industry committee chairman Kyriacos Hadjiyiannis said on Friday.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), he said recommendations had been made to local authorities to take precautionary measures, such as implementing legislation requiring the installation of cameras to monitor industrial areas.

He added that members of his committee had visited several industrial units, including recycling centres, and “pointed out the need for measures to be taken by the units’ owners to prevent fires from breaking out.”

He also called for “coordinated actions” are needed to discuss the measures which need to be taken to prevent fires.

The industrial area was the scene of a particularly large and violent fire at a recycling plant last summer, which caused harmful toxins to be released into the atmosphere.

Residents were also left without power due to the fire, and the labour inspection department had urged people to take caution while venturing outside due to the toxic smoke. The fire took days to be put out, and completely destroyed the recycling centre.

In the aftermath of the fire, local residents had demanded an end to the “nuisance” heavy industry in the area.

The local municipalities released a joint statement saying, “it is the umpteenth time we have witnessed these serious and dangerous incidents, which happen very close to other industrial premises where fuel, bleach, and asphalt are stored”.

Even President Nikos Christodoulides had joined their campaign, saying “no new permission will be given” for heavy industry plants to be opened in the area.

“I have called both the environment department and the competent service of the labour ministry to tighten all the conditions set for the operation of such factories, especially in terms of waste and the risk they involve,” he said.

He added that “we need to work to move” the industrial area.