Fire breaks out in Varosha: Updated 2

A fire broke out in the fenced-off town of Varosha at around 3.30. this afternoon. Smoke and flames rising from the town centre, near the Palm Beach Hotel could be seen from most parts of Famagusta.

Fire trucks from Nicosia were sent to Varosha as back up for the Famagusta fire brigade.

No statements have been made by the military on what started the fire. However according to ‘Famagusta Gazette’, self-styled Mayor of Famagusta Alexis Galanos said it was strange that a fire could break out in the fenced-off town as there is no electricity there.

Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci, according to a spokesman, had given instructions for assistance to be sought from the Greek Cypriot side, the British bases, and the United Nations, if Turkish Cypriot forces could not cope.

Reports also say that Turkey sent a fire fighting plane to assist.

Update: A British bases water-dropping helicopter was in the area while a second was on the way. Bases fire engines were also sent to the area from Ayios Nicolaos.

A bases spokesman said Turkish Cypriots had placed a request for assistance through the British High Commission.

A huge tower of smoke continued to rise into the sky as the evening set in. Meanwhile, four engines from the South  are on standby at the Dherinya crossing point, if required.
Update: Fire brought under control by 8pm.

Kibris Postasi, Famagusta Gazette, Cyprus Mail

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