Fire that reached Turkish power plant contained, others burn – News Vibe24

    Fire that reached Turkish power plant contained, others burn - Times of India
    MUGLA, TURKEY: Turkey’s worst fires in decades rage for nine days amid heat, low humidity and ever-changing strong winds. So far the fires have killed eight people and countless animals.
    In the coastal province of Mugla, where the tourist hot spot Bodrum is located, fires continued to burn in six areas on Thursday, officials said. Fires were also raging in five districts of Antalya province, another tourist destination, where two neighborhoods were evacuated on Wednesday.
    Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoλουlu said the situation in Antalya was improving.
    “We are in a better situation today than we were yesterday. “We stopped the spread of the fire, thanks to the interventions from the air and the ground,” he said. “We are more hopeful for tomorrow (when) the wind speeds will be lower. We have to turn it to our advantage. ”
    Precautions were taken before the flames reached the Kemerkoy power plant. The plant’s hydrogen tanks were emptied and the workers evacuated. Flammable and explosive substances were also removed, according to the state-run TRT.
    Energy Minister Fatih Donmez told reporters that the plant’s main units, including its turbines, were not damaged, adding that authorities wanted to put it back into operation as soon as possible. He added that no dangerous emissions from the factory were reported.
    “At the moment, there is no fire threatening the factory,” he said. “This plant is critical to the region.”
    The private plant uses lignite to generate electricity, according to its website.
    Television footage showed dozens of fire trucks and tankers surrounding the factory’s main building, some spilling water as part of a cooling effort that also included planes and helicopters. The main building does not appear to have been affected.
    A forestry official, however, warned that the Kemerkoy plant and another nearby power plant were still in danger due to unpredictable winds. Authorities blocked roads and did not allow people to approach the Kemerkoi.
    Before the fire reached the power plant, firefighters had been working for two days to protect it from the flames. Videos from a neighboring neighborhood in Milas showed charred, decimated trees.
    The government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has come under fire for its alleged slow response to the blaze and its lack of preparedness for large-scale fires. The government acknowledged that the country did not have a useful fleet of aircraft dropping water.
    Firefighters from Ukraine, Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Spain and Croatia came to Turkey to support the ground operation.
    Tsavousoglu said two planes hired by Israel are expected to arrive on Friday. Poland had offered to send a Black Hawk military helicopter and 14 crew members, while Turkey and the United States were discussing a bid for two Chinook military helicopters, he added.
    Last week, mayors posted videos on social media asking them to deal with local wildfires, and Turkish celebrities took part in a social media campaign calling for foreign help in fighting the fires.
    The campaign provoked an angry response from a top aide to Erdogan, Fahrettin Altun, who said: “Our Turkey is strong. “Our state stands strong.”
    Ankara’s Attorney General announced on Thursday that he was investigating social media posts containing the hashtag “Help Turkey” for allegedly spreading false information. Interior Minister Suleiman Soilou said proceedings had been initiated for more than 172 posts on social media.
    In an effort to control the flow of information, the Turkish Broadcasting Corporation warned TV stations on Tuesday about broadcasts that they say create an “atmosphere of chaos” and affect the morale of firefighters and the public.
    Erdogan, who has been criticized by critics for growing authoritarianism, has accused members of the opposition party of perpetuating the “terror of lies” by disparaging the government’s response to the fire. The president said in an interview late Wednesday that Turkey’s municipalities, which the main opposition party controls in many of the fire-affected areas, were also responsible for protecting the cities. The mayors said they were not invited to crisis coordination meetings.
    A heat wave across southern Europe, fueled by hot air from North Africa, has contributed to wildfires in the Mediterranean, including in Italy and Greece. The heat wave is expected to continue in Turkey and Greece until the end of the week.
    On Thursday, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemir proposed the creation of a mechanism under which Mediterranean nations would help each other in fighting forest fires.
    “The time has come for a Mediterranean union to fight forest fires because it is clear that from now on we will have to live in hot weather and global warming,” he said.


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