As one of the raging wildfires in Turkey reached a thermal power plant in a western district, thousands of people in the region were left waiting to be evacuated urgently by land or sea, MA reports.
The fires in the Milas district of Turkey’s western province Muğla reached the thermal power plant and soon after Muğla MP, Süleyman Girgin, pleading for urgent assistance in online messages.
“I’m calling on all state authorities,” Girgin said on a video. “The wind has reversed and now the fires are at a distance of 200 metres to the power plant. Planes, helicopters, whatever you’ve got, just send them here. If the fires reach the plant it’ll be a catastrophe.”
The plant was evacuated as local authorities said that hydrogen tanks used for cooling the plant were emptied and filled with water as a precaution against risk of explosion.
Videos on Twitter showed people gathered in confusion at the coastal town of Ören, waiting to be evacuated by any means, while explosions at the plant were reportedly captured on a video.
The fires reached the plant despite days of urgent warnings from local politicians and experts.
Ecology activists who have been fighting against thermal power plants in Turkey for decades made a number of comments on social media that the people’s resistance against the construction of the Milas power plant in early 1980s was actually one of the first ecology struggles in Turkey.
The Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has tried to give credence to false allegations of arson regarding the wildfires presently consuming larges swathes of forests in Turkey, also deflected his own responsibility of firefighting in urban areas by laying the blame with local councils.
“Suspicion of arson are circulating,” he said on a live broadcast. “Our police, gendarmerie and intelligence will clarify the situation by analysing all kinds of signs, indicators and information at the fire locations.”