six dead, hundreds homeless as devastating toll of disaster becomes clear – .

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six dead, hundreds homeless as devastating toll of disaster becomes clear – .


Six people are now known to have died in the massive forest fires ravaging southern and western Turkey, authorities said on Saturday.
Two firefighters lost their lives fighting the flames near the town of Manavgat.

The tragedy came to light when ministers said that while 88 fires had been brought under control, 10 were still burning dangerously across the landscape.

The fires have erupted since Wednesday amid high temperatures and strong winds.

The southern coastal provinces of Antalya, Adana, Osmaniye, Mersin and the western region of Mugla have all been hit hard.

Hundreds of people have had to flee their homes as thousands of firefighters have been deployed across the country to deal with the crisis. More than 50 people had to be taken to hospital, while hundreds of homes were reportedly set on fire.

On Saturday morning, as some people began to return to their properties in areas now considered safe, the full extent of the horror was revealed to them: homes left in charred ruins.

“We now have the clothes that I and my wife wear,” a Mehmet Demir told Reuters news agency after returning to find the family home where the couple had lived since 1982 destroyed. ” There is nothing to do. This is when words fail. “

The fires have been so extensive that satellite imagery shows that the smoke from them is now reaching the island of Cyprus 100 miles across the Mediterranean Sea.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan said it was sending hundreds of emergency responders to help with the effort, alongside specialized helicopters and equipment.

Russia and Ukraine have also sent planes to help fight the fires from the skies, with neighboring Greece offering assistance.

Other dead include an 82-year-old man, a married couple and a 25-year-old volunteer who raced on motorcycles with clean water for firefighters on the front lines.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promised an investigation to determine whether any of the fires were caused deliberately.

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