Government offers €6 mln for fire-stricken villages

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The Cabinet has approved a €6 mln budget to compensate people who lost their homes and businesses in the island’s worst wildfire, including families of the four Egyptian workers who perished.

Interior Minister Nicos Nouris announced the measures after Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting.

The devastating fire started in the Limassol village of Arakapas on Saturday, claimed the lives of four Egyptian labourers and burned more than 55 sq. km of forest land, homes, and properties spreading to Larnaca.

Extending his condolences to the families of the Egyptian workers, Nouris said the families of the young men would receive €95,000 each and an additional €30,000 for each child.

This means the family of the worker who had three children will receive €185,000, and the family of the worker who had four children get €245,000.

Provisions will also be made so the victims’ children are offered scholarships at Cyprus higher education institutions when they are older.

“The President of the Republic and the Cabinet once again express their grief and send their heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of the fire,” said Nouris.

At least 80 homes were destroyed during the island’s worst-ever forest fire, with the cost of the destruction running into millions of euros.

Data collected by local authorities recorded damage to 98 homes and businesses.

Vehicles, farming, and other equipment were also destroyed in Ayioi Vavatsinia, Akapnou, Arakapas, Vavatsinia, Derona, Eptagonia, Melini, Odou, Ora and Sykopetra.

Fire damage in the Limassol district amounts to approximately €1,207,443, and for the Larnaca district, around €4,051,232.

The total amount of losses after the inventory and valuation amounts to approximately €5.2 mln.

People whose homes suffered damage get a lump sum of €10,000.

Damages up to €50,000, in addition to the lump sum, 80% of the remaining amount will be given.

For example, for an estimated loss of €50,000, a total grant of €42,000 will be paid.

For losses ranging up to €100,000, an additional amount equal to 50% will be granted.

If the estimated loss is €100,000, a grant of €67,000 will be paid.

It is noted that damage to residential properties, which exceed €150,000, will not be granted any additional amount.

For businesses who suffered damages of between €150,000 and €250,000, compensation is between €82,000 and €102,000.

People who lost their vehicles in the fire will be compensated with 50% of the car’s value, with a ceiling of €5,000.

Farmers who lost their farming equipment, including vehicles, will be compensated with 50% of the value of the equipment, with a ceiling of €10,000.

The €10,000 lump sum will be given once the beneficiary signs a petition form.