EU supports Cyprus after massive explosion
Brussels, 13 July 2011 – Cyprus has requested assistance through the European Civil Protection Mechanism after the devastating explosion at “Evangelos Florakis” naval base near Larnaca.
The authorities of Cyprus have asked for electricity generators because Vassilikos power station – the largest on the island – suffered extensive damage, severely limiting energy production.
The Cypriot authorities have also asked for assistance in assessing the damage to the power station and its restoration. To that end the European Union will deploy an assessment and coordination team of experts. A liaison officer from the Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) of the European Commission will arrive in Cyprus tomorrow to prepare the arrival of the team.
"I want to express my deep sympathy for all those who have been affected by this tragic event. The European Commission will help Cyprus cope in this difficult moment," said Kristalina Georgieva, Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.
"Together with our Member States, my services will work to provide the requested assistance in the fastest and most efficient possible way.
"My colleagues and I are impressed by the heroism of the Cypriots who risked their lives fighting the disaster."
The 31 states which participate in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism have been informed about Cyprus's request. The European Commission's experts in civil protection are in contact with several Member States and work to coordinate the provision of the requested assistance.
On 13 July at about 03.00am a series of explosions occurred at “Evangelos Florakis” naval base near Larnaca, 60 km from the capital Nicosia. 12 people were killed and many more injured. The explosion affected the production of electricity on the island and the water supply.
The European Civil Protection Mechanism facilitates cooperation in disaster response among 31 European states (EU-27 plus Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). The participating countries pool the resources that can be made available to disaster-stricken countries all over the world. When activated, the Mechanism coordinates the provision of assistance inside and outside the European Union. The European Commission manages the Mechanism through the Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC).
For more information
Commissioner Georgieva's website:
The European Commission's humanitarian aid:
David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)
Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)