Updated: August 1, 2021 10:36:14 am
For the past three days, several parts of Turkey has been engulfed in raging flames, not just destroying forest covers but also destroying people’s homes and leaving animals in danger as well. As fires continue, social media is flooded with heartbreaking videos capturing the calamity.
The forest fires first started on Wednesday in the southern provinces of Mersin, Osmaniye, Adana, Antalya, and Kahramanmaraş. Blazes also broke out in the southwestern province of Muğla and central provinces of Kırıkkale and Kayseri, Daily Sabah reported. Of the 98 fires that have broken out in numerous provinces since Wednesday, 88 are under control, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Bekir Pakdemirli said.
Earlier Pakdemirli said that 4,000 personnel, six planes, nine unmanned aerial vehicles, one unmanned helicopter, 45 helicopters, 55 heavy duty vehicles, and 1,080 water tenders are together making efforts to tame the flames. While in some places, people could be evacuated in time, six people have lost their lives so far in the fires that also caused material and environmental damage in southern regions, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency added.
Videos showed fires particularly serious on the Turkish Mediterranean coast, where strong winds hindered efforts of emergency forces battling against time to control it. With hashtag #PrayforTurkey and #TurkeyisBurning, netizens in and outside the country have been trying to draw attention to the severity of the situation.
Dramatic video shows a car almost engulfed by fire as the group of friends desperately backed away from the flames in southern Turkey.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) July 31, 2021
Adana’nın Aladağ ilçesinde kül olan ormanlık alan havadan görüntülendi | #video
— Halk TV (@halktvcomtr) July 31, 2021
— Hürriyet.com.tr (@Hurriyet) July 31, 2021
Marmaris’te dün çıkan orman yangınını söndürme çalışmaları sürüyor.
— BBC News Türkçe (@bbcturkce) July 30, 2021
Locals save turtles from blazes while firefighters battle forest fires in Marmaris, Mugla
Local people in Marmaris help fire crews to extinguish wildfires, they also take animals injured from blazes to veterinary clinics pic.twitter.com/uwvGm0XiW1
— ANADOLU AGENCY (@anadoluagency) July 30, 2021
Marmaris’teki orman yangını devam ediyor: Alevler yerleşim alanlarına 50 metre uzaklıkta
— Tele1 TV (@tele1comtr) July 30, 2021
— Tuncay ÖZKAN (@ATuncayOzkan) July 29, 2021
📽Rus ekiplerin Türkiye’deki yangınları söndürmek için yürüttüğü özverili çalışmalardan görüntüler
📽Героическая работа российских экипажей по тушению пожаров в Турции pic.twitter.com/LBBPI1VIKp
— RusEmbTurkey (@RusEmbTurkey) July 29, 2021
VIDEO — Forest fire approaches hotel in Turkey’s popular Aegean resort town Bodrum pic.twitter.com/fdjrzUMm55
— DAILY SABAH (@DailySabah) July 29, 2021
However, as firefighters race to control the flames, there have been many claims about ‘sabotage’ as well. Authorities on Thursday launched investigations into the fires. Fahrettin Altun, a top aide to President Erdogan, said “those responsible will have to account for the attacks against nature and forests”.
Wildfires are common in Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean regions during the arid summer months, though some previous forest fires have been blamed on arson or outlawed Kurdish militants, AP explained.
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