ALGIERS- Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani, on Thursday, offered the country’s sincere condolences and sympathy to the people and government of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria and the families of the victims of the wild fires that tore through the eastern provinces of the country.
In a statement, the Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Nasser Kan’ani offered sincere condolences and commiseration to the people and government of Algeria over the recent massive forest fires in the country that claimed the lives of many people and caused numerous injuries.
The Iranian official also prayed for a speedy recovery for those injured in this painful affliction.
As many as 38 people passed away and 183 others were injured as a result of fires in northern Algeria, as firefighters have been battling a string of blazes, fanned by drought and a blistering heatwave.
30 people were killed, including 11 children, 06 women, and 12 who were in a bus trapped by the flames,
in the province of El Tarf following the forest fires that ravaged the country.
The civil protection agency in Setif had said that two women, “a 58-year-old mother and her 31-year-old daughter”, pased away in the town.
In Souk Ahras, farther to the east near Algeria’s border with Tunisia, people were seen fleeing their homes as fires spread before firefighting helicopters were deployed. 5 members of the same family lost their lives.
At least 200 more people have suffered burns or respiratory problems from the smoke, according to local media.
Eight people had been burned to death in a bus near the city of 100,000 residents.
The gendarmerie has closed several roads as a result of the fires.
“Thirty-nine fires are underway in 14 wilayas (administrative councils),” the civil protection agency said, noting that El Tarf was the worst hit.
Helicopters used bambi buckets to drop water on fires in three wilayas, including Souk Ahras.
Authorities have rented a Russian Beriev BE 200 water bomber airplane, but it has suffered a breakdown and is not expected to be operational again until Saturday, according to interior minister Kamel Beldjoud.
The fires ravaged nearly 1,800 hectares of brush and some 800 hectares of forest cover in the wilayas of El-Tarf, Sétif, Souk Ahras, Jijel, Skikda and Tipasa.
A journalist in El Tarf described “scenes of devastation” on the road to El Kala in the country’s far north-east.
“A tornado of fire swept everything away in seconds,” he told AFP by telephone.
“Most of those who died were surrounded while visiting a wildlife park.”
Emergency services were still battling a blaze around Tonga lake, he said.
For his part, the Prime Minister, Aimene Benabderrahmane, headed, Thursday, to El Tarf province, on the instructions of the President of the Republic, Mr. Abdelmadjid Tebboune, and at the head of a large ministerial delegation to inquire about the damage caused by the fires affecting the wilaya.
In the province of El Tarf, Mr. Benabderrahmane and the accompanying ministerial delegation listened to the concerns of the inhabitants.
Speaking to those affected by the fires that tore through the eastern provinces of the country, the Premier assured that “the state will compensate for losses and rebuild the damaged areas.”
Besides, Prime Minister, Mr. Aïmene Benabderrahmane, presented the condolences of the President of the Republic, Mr. Abdelmadjid Tebboune, to the families of the victims of the forest fires and his wishes for a speedy recovery to the injured, assuring “the state support and the full mobilization of the various services with all their human and material resources to put out these fires and take care of the injured”.
On this occasion, the Prime Minister affirmed that “all the specialized services and the institutions of the State, headed by the Civil Protection units and the forces of the People’s National Army (ANP), are mobilized to put out the forest fires affecting several wilayas in the east of the country and take care of the wounded and the victims, and this, in accordance with the instructions of the President of the Republic”.
President of the Republic Abdelmadjid Tebboune, on Wednesday, offered his sincere condolences to the families of the victims of the ongoing forest fires in some parts of the country’s east, assuring of State support, with the full mobilization of the different services to bring the blazes under control.
The message read: “Following the fires that hit some provinces in the east of the country, which left a number of victims in the province of El Tarf and Setif, the President of the Republic, Mr. Abdelmadjid Tebboune, extends his sincere condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims, wishing a speedy recovery for the wounded.”
The President of the Republic affirmed, “The state’s full support with the full mobilization of the different services to bring the blazes under control.”
The Ministry of Justice announced, for its part, the launch of judicial investigations after the outbreak of several forest fires, particularly in the east of the country, which claimed the lives of at least 38 people.
The Ministry of Justice announced the launch of judicial investigations to determine the origin of these fires. If this latter turn out to be criminal, the perpetrators will be identified and prosecuted in application of the laws of the Republic.
Since the start of August, up to 118 fires have broken out in Algeria, destroying more than 2,500 hectares of woodland.
Last year, at least 90 people died in forest fires that ravaged northern areas, destroying more than 100,000 hectares of woodland.