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Wildfires rage through Algeria, People are forced to evacuate!

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North Africa is the latest to be hit by the climate crisis. Since Monday, at least 69 people have died, 41 civilians and 28 soldiers. The president, Abdel Madjid has declared 3 days of mourning to commemorate those losses. A fire started in the Northern region of Kabyle. The Algerian authorities were sent to tackle them and evacuate people. The main sources of livelihood for families in that area are the livestock and olive tree farms which were both engulfed by the flames. The capital of Kayblie had the highest number of casualties. A temperature of 46 degrees was forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday. Over 100 fires in 17 provinces were reported. 

Over 600 families have been rendered homeless. Some people believe the fires are the cause of arson and other illegal activity. However, scientists claim that they are the effect of climate change; droughts and heatwaves in the area. Many have sent aid, most notably the European Union. Firefighting planes have been offered by France and Morocco. The soldiers killed were called martyrs by the president. Algeria does not possess any firefighting tools and civilians have been trying to fight the flames themselves with rudimentary tools; buckets and hoses.

A man uses a tree branch in an attempt to put out the flames of a wildfire in Iboudraren village, in the mountainous Kabylie region of Tizi Ouzou, east of Algiers, Algeria August 12, 2021. REUTERS/Abdelaziz Boumzar

A resident of the Agoulmim village, on Berber TV, a news channel reported that “The flames were so high, they destroyed everything. Suddenly it was like a volcano” he also thanked the people saying, “God bless them … We had no electricity and people brought in generators from all around”. A 92-year-old woman, Fatima Aoudi, living in the mountain village of Ait Saada said the situation on Monday night “felt like the end of the world”. “We were afraid,” she told The Associated Press. “The entire hill was transformed into a giant blaze.” She compared it to Algeria’s independence war in 1962. “These burned-down forests. It’s a part of me that is gone,” said Aoudi. “It’s a drama for humanity, for nature. It’s a disaster.”

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