One dead and ten stranded as wildfire rages across southern Turkey

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an aerial view of the fire that broke out in Manavgat district of Turkey's Antalya
an aerial view of the fire that broke out in Manavgat district of Turkey's Antalya

At least one person has died and ten people have been stranded after wildfires blazed across southern Turkey, near the resort city of Antalya.

Bekir Pakdemirli, the Turkish agriculture minister, said that around 400 firefighters, a plane and 19 helicopters had been sent to the town of Manavgat and the surrounding area to tackle the fires.

Mr Pakdemirli said an 82-year-old man was found dead during the evacuation of the district of Kepezbeleni, ten miles north-east of Manavgat, and that ten people were stranded at the nearby Oymapinar dam.

Rescue units were on their way to the stranded people, he said, while several people have been injured.

Smoke and flames rise after a forest fire broke out
Smoke and flames rise after a forest fire broke out

Authorities in Turkey have evacuated 18 villages and districts in Antalya, while 16 more villages were evacuated in the neighbouring provinces of Adana and Mersin.

Television footage showed burnt residential buildings and people fleeing across fields as firefighters backed by helicopters battled to extinguish the fires.

“It’s an unbelievably bad sight. We literally didn’t even realize what we were in,” Şükrü Sözen, the mayor of Manavgat, said in an interview with CNN Turkey, adding that offices and residential buildings had burned down.

It was not immediately clear whether the fires had reached the resort of Antalya, which is popular with British holidaymakers.

Fires - Orhan Cicek/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Fires - Orhan Cicek/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

It comes just a week after Turkey's northeastern province was struck by severe flooding which led to scenes of cars floating down streets and dozens of evacuations.

Speaking on Wednesday when the fires first broke out, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erodgan said "all necessary support will be given to our citizens who have suffered from the fire".

He added that an investigation had been launched into the cause of the fire.

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