Saudi Arabia sends assistance to help Algeria grapple effects of deadly fires

    29 Aug 2021

    Saudi Arabia has set up an air bridge to Algeria carrying urgent humanitarian aid to help the north African country “alleviate the effects” of deadly wildfires that swept across several cities, Arab News reports.

    The move has been directed by King Salman, who spoke to Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune over the phone on last week and assured him of his country’s support.

    At least 90 people were killed and several injured in multiple forest fires that broke out in the north of Algeria on August 9 amid a blistering heatwave.

    The aid, which left on a plane from King Khalid International Airport in the capital, Riyadh, is being sent by the Saudi-based King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) and includes food, shelters, and medical supplies bound for Algiers.

    Like southern Europe, North Africa has been sweltering under searing heat, The Guardian states.

    European countries have sent firefighting planes to Algeria to help fight wildfires there that killed at least 69 people through the mountainous Berber region. The victims of the blazes include at least 28 soldiers who were deployed to fight the fires, according to authorities.

    Algeria’s National Meteorology Office said extremely hot weather was forecast through Thursday in nearly a dozen regions, including around Tizi-Ouzou. In some parts of Algeria, the temperature was expected to hit 47° C.

    Temperatures hit 50° C in Tunisia, a record high for the country. The last previous high was 48.2°C in 1968.

    Elsewhere in the Mediterranean, Lebanon has added recovery from fires in late July to its list of debilitating challenges. NASA has published a map of fires on Earth. You may see it here.

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