Cyprus Latest News July11

Catch up with the headlines on the Cyprus latest news July11

Massive Explosion at Navy Base Kills 12, Destroys Power Plant

There's only ONE story grabbing the headlines right now in Cyprus and that's the tragic loss of life following the massive explosion at the Cyrus naval base near Zygi, between Larnaca and Limassol.

The accident happened just before 6am on Monday July 11th when a small bush fire spread and ignited 98 containers of gunpowder, being stored at the naval base, after being confiscated in 2009 from a ship carrying illegal Iranian arms.

News spread quickly around the globe and was the main news story on many high profile news sites like the BBC.

Residents, both Cypriot and foreign, have expressed outrage as to why these arms were being stored in the open, in full sun, right next to the main power plant on the island and close to many homes. The power plant has been badly damaged and the island is now faced with severe electricity cuts and also water cuts for the summer months.

All residents have been urged to reduce electricity consumption, and desalination plants have been forced to shut operations in the immediate aftermath of the explosion due to lack of power and their heavy electricity usage.

Stories are emerging as to what can only be described as criminal negligence, as repeated warnings about the fragile nature of the gunpowder containers were repeatedly ignored. It seems that many countries offered to remove the dangerous containers in the past 2 years, but requests were refused.

The Defence minister may have resigned over the incident, but Cypriots are calling for the head of the President, Christophias, to roll too.

Riots broke out in Nicosia on the evening after the explosion and had to be dispersed using tear gas.

While a criminal investigation will now commence alongside an internal enquiry, the population and tourists alike will suffer the consequences of the explosion over the coming months as electricity supplies are cut for at least 2 hours per day and many areas will have water restrictions due to the lack of desalinated water production.

The 12 people killed in the explosion included the head of the Cypriot navy and six firefighters who had been called to tackle the fire, which eventually spread to the containers, causing them to blow up.

It's a sad sad week for Cyprus, made all the more distressing in that this was a terrible accident that could so easily have been prevented.

That's all from our Cyprus Latest News July11.

See you next time, hopefully with some happier news to report.



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