Cypriot first responders who rushed to help in the Greek wildfires are getting ready to come back, after what has been undoubtedly a horrifying challenge for even experienced professionals.
The mission flew to Athens on Tuesday morning, hours after Greece issued a call for help, sending 64 first responders, including 20 fire fighters, 20 forest firefighters, 20 civil defence officials, and four medics.
A total of 85 souls perished in the wild fires that ravaged the coastal town of Mati in east Attica, with dozens still missing and Greek authorities trying to cope with many new challenges in the aftermath.
The Cypriot teams were shocked at what they saw, according to radio statements on Thursday, with the terrain being very different from the island. Unlike Cyprus, thick forests were adjacent to the shore where everything burned to the ground.
An official who spoke on state radio said he couldn’t imagine how first responders would have acted differently given the way homes were nested inside the thick forest and there were no escape routes.
Fire Service department spokesperson Andreas Kettis said the crews were in the process of flying back to Larnaca but did not have further details as of Thursday afternoon. [Kathimerini Cyprus]