Firefighters battle flames in Paphos as reinforcements arrive (PHOTOS+VIDEO)

The fires raging in Paphos have intensified significantly, prompting the full activation of the National Fire Plan (“Pyrsos”).

An eyewitness reported a delayed response by aerial fire extinguishers, resulting in the complete destruction of three homes and extensive damage to at least ten others. A resident recounted the residents’ harrowing escape from the fast-moving flames.

In response to the growing crisis, President Nikos Christodoulides limits his presence at the Dead Sea summit in Jordan to return to Cyprus. He will go to the Crisis Management Center in Larnaca to get an immediate update on the situation.

The damage caused by the fire can be seen in footage obtained by Philenews.

In response to Cyprus’ request, Greece is mobilizing two Canadair CL-415 firefighting aircraft for deployment under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. This quick response follows a call from the Greek Minister of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection, Vasilis Kikilias.

Houses, animals and buildings in the Psathi area were consumed by fire. Residents expressed relief at the lack of casualties, attributing it solely to luck. Efforts are ongoing to provide additional air support from Jordan, Israel and the EU.

Fire brigade spokesman Andreas Kettis confirmed extensive property damage suffered by residents and a significant number of homes were protected by firefighters. The fire continues to spread east along a wide front, causing the evacuation of the communities of Polemi and Psathi.

Firefighters and rescue services successfully rescued a cattle breeder trapped in Psathi buildings. He is currently receiving first aid for minor external injuries.

Driven by strong winds, the fire is currently threatening Kourdaka, Choulou and Lemona. After a thorough assessment, Civil Defense and Police will evacuate these communities. The difficult terrain requires extensive support from the entire state apparatus and specialized groups of volunteers.

Moreover, the National Fire Prevention Plan has been fully launched. A ministerial team meets at the Crisis Management Center, consisting of the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Agriculture, the Chief of the Fire Service and the Director of the Forestry Department.