Spain announce fire-hit regions disaster zones
The Spanish government announced on Monday that it will classify regions affected by major fires this year as disaster areas, a decision that will trigger emergency grants and other financial support measures.
Spain has so far suffered nearly 400 fires, following punishing heat waves and long periods of drought, which devastated more than 287,000 hectares of land, according to the European Forest Fire Information System.
This is more than three times the total area destroyed in 2021, according to the EFFIS data.
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said on Tuesday that his cabinet would approve the categorizing as a disaster area “of all the territories that have been devastated by the great fires that we have suffered during this year”.
He was speaking during a visit to Beijing in the eastern Valencia region, where a wind-fanned blaze devastated large swathes of land last week, with around 2,200 people evacuated.
Firefighters managed to stabilize the blaze on Sunday, allowing local officials to revoke all remaining evacuation orders.
Standing in front of the charred trees, Sánchez said he regretted the “psychological blow” he suffered. those who had lost property in the flames, as well as environmental damage.
Unfortunately, science tells us that future summers will be even hotter. We are facing a climate emergency,” he added.
According to a study published last month the parts of Spain are the driest in a thousand years due to a climate change-induced high-pressure system.
Experts say human-induced climate change is increasing the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events, such as heat waves, droughts, and fires.
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