A massive wildfire in Turkey has forced authorities to order an emergency evacuation after the blaze reached a coal-fueled power plant in the nation's southwestern region with sirens from the plant blaring.
Milas Mayor Muhammet Tokat, who is part of the main opposition party of the country, warned residents of the risks that the fire brought in the last two days for the Kemerkoy power plant located in the Mugla province.
Wildfire Reaches Power Plant
Tokat said on Wednesday that the personnel inside the plant were already being evacuated in preparation for the wildfire's arrival. The nearby seaside area of Oren has also begun evacuation procedures as the blaze continues to grow, local reporters said.
Authorities from the Turkish defense ministry said they were ordering residents to evacuate their homes as the fires continued advancing towards the plant. TRT, the state broadcaster, said the flames had "jumped" to the plant as powerful winds made the direction and path of the fires unpredictable, making them even more dangerous, the Associated Press reported.
Turkish officials announced that they have taken safety precautions at the Kemerkoy power plant and have opted to empty the hydrogen tanks stored inside. TRT also said that flammable and explosive substances in the facility have been removed. The privately-run plant wrote on its website that it used lignite to generate electricity.
Extreme heat and wildfires continued to ravage many parts of southern Europe on Wednesday, a day after Greece recorded a scorching temperature of 47.1 degrees Celsius. The severe heat was only slightly below the hottest temperature ever recorded in the region. The country remains on high alert as it continues to face its worst set of heatwaves in decades.
Authorities have also issued warnings for Bosnia, Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Italy, Romania, Serbia, and Turkey. The number of wildfires that have burned through Turkey forced authorities to evacuate many areas, including tourist resorts, CNN reported.
Growing Threat of Climate Change
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz previously discussed with President Isaac Herzog spoke with Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou on Wednesday regarding the devastating fires ravaging the latter's country. The officials talked about the extreme loss of life and the risk that global warming has caused worldwide.
Herzog offered his assistance to Greece and the two presidents agreed that it was beneficial to work together to fight against climate change. In a statement, the Israeli president reiterated his country's solidarity with Greece during a time of great strife.
Gantz and his Greek counterpart, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, the defense minister of Greece, revealed there have been 80 wildfires in the country in the last few days. He also thanked Gantz for the help offered by Israel in providing the fire-torn country with fire retardants. Gantz also committed to providing other assistance to Greece, including aerial support, and search-and-rescue operations.
Turkey is considered to be the worst-stricken by the wildfire surge in the Mediterranean, which has become a wildfire hotspot. The region experienced intense flames that have topped other fires in its history on record, The Jerusalem Post reported.