Tip News

February 20, 2020

More evacuations as Canary Islands fire out of control - Tip News

More evacuations as Canary Islands fire out of control

More evacuations as Canary Islands fire out of control
'Authorities estimate it could take days before the blaze is brought under control' - By: AFP DESIREE MARTIN

A wildfire raged out of control on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria Monday, forcing more evacuations as flames in some parts rose so high even water-dropping planes were unable to operate, authorities said.

The fire, which is devouring the mountainous centre of the holiday island popular for its breathtaking views, has forced the evacuation of several villages, which according to the census have a combined population of 8,000, a spokeswoman for emergency services said.

The exact number of evacuees was unclear. No fatalities have been reported.

So fierce is the fire in what is a UNESCO biosphere reserve that in some areas, it "is beyond our extinction capacities," Federico Grillo, head of emergency services in Gran Canaria, said late Sunday.

On the northwestern flank of the blaze, flames have risen as high as 50 metres (160 feet), preventing ground crew from getting near or water-dropping aircraft from flying above.

"It's a really bad situation," Grillo said.

More than 700 firefighters and other ground crew and 14 water-dropping helicopters and planes were working on bringing the blaze under control on Monday.

With the temperature set to rise, authorities estimate it could take days before the blaze is brought under control.

The fire broke out days after another wildfire in the same region forced the evacuation of hundreds.

Gran Canaria is the second most populous of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic off the northwest coast of Africa.

The archipelago received 13.7 million foreign visitors last year, over half of them from Britain and Germany.

In Gran Canaria, tourists tend to stay in beach resorts and not so much in the mountainous centre.

In a statement, the government of the Canary Islands said the tourism industry on the island remained unaffected "given that the fire is confined to upland parts," "with no resorts suffering effects" and no flight delays.

Short link: https://tipnews.com/u/MTA0NTMx

See also:

Related articles

170,000 people living in the open in NW Syria: UN

170,000 people living in the open in NW Syria: UN

An estimated 170,000 of the 900,000 civilians forced from their homes in a massive wave of displacement in northwestern Syria are living out in the open, the UN said Thursday.The largest displacement since the civil war in Syria broke out nearly nine years ago

Australia launches national inquiry into bushfires

Australia launches national inquiry into bushfires

Australia set up a national inquiry Thursday into its month-long bushfire crisis that affected three in four Australians and prompted widespread criticism of the government for its sluggish response to the blazes.Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the vast sca

Syria presses assault amid fears over mass displacement

Syria presses assault amid fears over mass displacement

Syrian troops pressed an offensive Tuesday on the country's last major rebel enclave, where the mass displacement of civilians is sparking fears of a humanitarian catastrophe.Around 900,000 people have been forced from their homes and shelters in less than th



HELLO, PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO RATE THIS POST More evacuations as Canary Islands fire out of control

Sending comment Close