Forest fires rage near Turkish resorts, claiming the lives of four people.
Thousands of firemen battled massive fires sweeping over the Mediterranean vacation regions of Turkey’s southern coast on Thursday, killing four people and injuring more than 180.
Officials have also initiated an investigation into the possibility that arson caused the flames that erupted in four areas east of Antalya on Wednesday.
Three individuals were murdered, according to Turkey’s disaster and emergency office, including an 82-year-old woman who lived alone.
According to the NTV channel, a 25-year-old man died in Marmaris while attempting to deliver relief.
The flames started in a sparsely populated area approximately 75 kilometers (45 miles) east of Antalya, a major tourist destination for Russians and other eastern Europeans.
However, they were getting closer to sandy beaches filled with hotels and resorts on Thursday.
Residents were seen jumping out of their automobiles and running for their lives through smoke-filled streets lighted up by orange flames in images shared on social media and broadcast on Turkish television.
Over a seaside hotel complex in Manavgat, thick clouds of smoke painted the sky dark orange.
At least 183 persons were taken to the hospital.
As other flames broke out over the southern shore, Agriculture Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said a hotel near the tourist city of Bodrum – some 300 kilometers west of Antalya – was being evacuated.
With temperatures topping 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) and wind gusts of 50 kilometers (30 miles) per hour, the fires were blazing.
However, Antalya mayor Muhittin Bocek said he suspected foul play because the flames broke out in four different places at the same time.
“This points to an arson attack,” Bocek added, “but we don’t have any concrete information at this time.”
An probe has already been initiated, according to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
According to the Russian embassy, Moscow has dispatched three massive firefighting planes to drop fire retardant on the burning forests in order to put out the fires.
According to the Turkish ministry, Greece’s foreign minister Nikos Dendias told his Turkish colleague that Greece, which has tense relations with its neighbor, was “ready to help if needed.”
Azerbaijan has also given assistance.
Over 4,000 Turkish firefighters were dispatched across the region to assist in containing the damage and searching for anyone in need of assistance.
On Thursday, they rescued ten individuals who were stuck on a boat in a lake surrounded by burning forest.
Environment Minister Murat Kurum stated, “All of the state’s means have been mobilized.” “We have all of our squads on the field.”