Incendio del Carmelo: aiuti da Inghlterra (via Cipro), Bulgaria, Azerbaigian, Francia, Greecia, Spagna, Russia, Giordania, Egitto. Iniziativa Usa di Obama. E il grande amico di Israele Silvio Berlusconi? Nulla fino ad ora. Il punto da Haaretz del 3.12.2010:
International aid arrives as Carmel fire continues to rage
U.K. sends fire-fighting helicopter from Cyprus base; Obama pledges American aid to help fight blaze sweeping through Israel’s north.
By Haaretz Service Tags: Israel news
Seven fire-fighting aircraft landed in Israel early Friday, the first arrivals of a planned international airlift sent to aid the battle against a massive brushfire ripping through northern Israel.
|A firefighting plane drops fire extinguishing material over a fire in the town of Tirat Hacarmel, northern Israel, Friday, Dec. 3, 2010. The worst forest fire in Israel’s history devastated one of th
|Photo by: AP
Over 15,000 residents, including 600 prison inmates, were evacuated as the blaze raged out of control, devastating hundreds of acres of pine forest before sweeping down the slopes of the Carmel plateau towards Israel’s third largest city.
he death toll from the Carmel blaze reached 41 on Friday, most coming from an incident involving a bus full with students on the Prison Service’s guards’ course on their way to the Damon jail to help evacuate inmates there.
When a fallen tree blocked a road, their bus was trapped in the flames, killing as many as 36 passengers, as well as others who had attempted to rescue them.
The first of the international fire-fighting planes included a Bulgarian aircraft, carrying 100 Bulgarian fire fighters and accompanied by the country’s deputy foreign minister.
Other craft included 4 fire-fighting planes sent by Greece, one sent by Cyprus as well as a fire-fighting plane sent by the government of Azerbaijan. Two Turkish aircraft are expected to land at the Ramat David Israel Air Force base later in the morning.
Other countries sending aid to arrive at Israel later Friday support included Egypt, Jordan, France, Croatia, Russia, Spain, and Romania. Overall, 20 fire-fighting planes are expected to arrive in Israel, with New York’s fire department also agreeing to send a firefighting airplane to Israel.
Officials at the U.K. embassy in Israel added that London dispatched Royal Air Force helicopter based in Cyprus with fire-fighting equipment to help in the efforts to put out the Carmel blaze.
The IAF will be in charge of coordinating the aerial fire-fighting efforts, including international teams.
On Thursday, U.S. President Barack Obama offered condolences to the families of 40 victims of a massive brushfire that tore across Israel’s north, pledging American aid to help fight the blaze.
“I want [to offer] our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all those who died as a result of the terrible forest fire in northern Israel,” Obama told Jewish community at a Hannukah candle lighting ceremony at the White House.
“As rescuers and firefighters continue in their work, the United States is acting to help our Israeli friends respond to the disaster,” he said.
Obama told reception guests, among them Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, that planning had begun to send assistance to Israel.
Mass evacuations continued across northern Israel Friday morning as dry easterly winds fanned a massive brushfire towards the city of Haifa.
By mid-evening Thursday, fire chiefs had admitted publicly to losing control of the fire, believed to have started in an illegal landfill site.
As the flames neared the city limits, residents of Denya, an affluent district of Haifa – a busy port city and the north’s economic heartland – were moved to safety.
At around 4:00 A.M., local time, firefighters warned of the possibility the blaze would reach Highway 4, a major traffic artery linking the north with Tel Aviv, with those predictions proving true later in the morning.
At around 10:30 A.M. on Friday morning the fire had swept its way to the farther coastal Highway 2, forcing police to close one of Israel’s busiest roads between Zichron Yaakov and Haifa.