October 2, 2022

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A church in Constanța burns violently. Dozens of firefighters intervene

Violent fire at a church in Constanta. Dozens of firefighters intervene. Photo source: ct100.ro

The fire broke out at the church in the Tomis Plus neighborhood in Constanța. Several firefighting vehicles are on the scene. All the people in the adjacent block self-evacuated.

Approximately 10 gas cylinders were removed from the burning building.

One person was transported by the SAJ B2 crew to the Constanța Emergency County Clinical Hospital, with 1st degree burns on the forearm. “According to the information received from the priest of the church, there are no more people inside the place of worship”, stated the representatives of the ISU Dobrogea.

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State of alert in Portugal due to wildfires. Access to the forests was restricted

State of alert in Portugal due to wildfires. The authorities have restricted access to the forests.

Portugal, affected by the third heat wave since the beginning of July, recorded several wildfires on Monday, in the context in which this country was placed on alert due to the risks associated with forest fires, informs AFP.

On August 22, almost 1,800 firefighters were mobilized to put out the flames that broke out nationwide, according to the information provided by the Civil Protection.

The most important outbreak is currently devastating the Vila Real region in the extreme north of the country and is advancing inside a mountainous area with difficult access.

The state of alert, decreed by the Government of Lisbon on Sunday, restricts in particular access to forests and prohibits the use of cars or the organization of pyrotechnic shows to avoid the occurrence of fires.

Portugal, which is facing an exceptional drought this year, already experienced in July 2022 the hottest July recorded in the last century.

Since the beginning of the year, almost 94,000 hectares have been devastated in the country, making up the largest area affected by flames after the devastating fires of 2017 that claimed 100 lives, according to the latest balance sheet published by the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests ( ICNF).

The fire alone in the Serra da Estrela Natural Park, located in a mountainous region in central Portugal and included in the UNESCO heritage, destroyed more than 25,000 hectares of vegetation in recent weeks, before being declared under control last Wednesday.

According to scientists, climate warming increases the likelihood of heatwaves, as well as droughts and fires.

Forest fires burned a record 700,000 hectares in the EU this year

Forest fires in the EU have burned a record 700,000 hectares so far this year – the largest area since records began. The figure was announced by the European Commission.

“We are facing a difficult summer in Europe, as more than 700,000 hectares have burned so far this year, the highest figure recorded for this time of the year since 2006,” said Janez Lenarcic, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Management crises.

Figures reported by the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) show that so far Spain has been the worst hit, with more than 283,000 hectares burnt. It is followed by Romania (150,735), Portugal (86,631), France (62,102) and Italy (42,835).

The number of fires has also increased in recent years, with 2,300 throughout the EU until August 15, well above the annual average of 1,349 for the period 2006-2021.

Climate change has increased the likelihood and severity of wildfires in Europe. This year many of the fires have been fueled by multiple heat waves and facilitated by a drought that could be the worst in 500 years, according to the Commission’s Joint Research Centre.

According to the Commission, in the last two months, 29 planes and eight helicopters were deployed throughout the bloc through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, through which EU states help each other with resources in crisis situations.

Faced with the new reality, the Commission committed to finance the purchase by the states of 12 new fire-fighting aircraft, but the first ones will be available only in 2026, and the rest until 2029.

This year, the EU reserve for fighting forest fires is composed of 12 planes and a helicopter, borrowed from Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Spain and Sweden, according to Rador.

The EU is mobilizing around 370 people for rapid intervention throughout Europe

Over the past two months, 29 planes and eight helicopters have been deployed across Europe to respond to requests for assistance through the EU’s civil protection mechanism. To these were added 369 firefighters and over 105 ground vehicles.

The Commissioner for Crisis Management said: “We are facing a difficult summer in Europe, with more than 700,000 hectares burnt this year, the largest area recorded for this period since 2006. So far, the EU civil protection mechanism has been activated nine times by five countries in an unprecedented show of solidarity from EU member states.We will continue to monitor the situation 24 hours a day through the Emergency Response Coordination Center in Brussels, as and to mobilize the necessary help”.

In addition, the EU’s Copernicus satellite emergency mapping service was activated 46 times for forest fires in 15 countries, and around 150 firefighters from Bulgaria, Romania, Germany, France, Finland and Norway were deployed. in Greece in July and August to support local firefighters. Member States can activate the EU’s civil protection mechanism to request help to fight forest fires. The rescEU mechanism strengthens the EU’s civil protection response by creating reserve forces that are mobilized when no other national means are available.

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