By Hannatu Sadiq
Over 600 families have been left homeless in Algeria as a result of wildfires that started near the country’s capital, a representative of the Algerian Red Crescent has said.
Dozens of fires began devouring forested mountainsides in the Berber region of Kabyle, east of Algiers, the capital, on Monday, destroying village homes, olive tree orchards and animals that provide a livelihood for the region.
Nafissa Toumi said 65 people were lost in the fire with more than 1,000 people injured.
Speaking on state TV, Prime Minister Aïmene Benabderrahmane said governors in the affected regions had been instructed to accommodate the affected families.
“We gave strict instructions to the ‘wilaya’ (region) governor to direct all university accommodations currently available and all hotels, even private ones, to accommodate all the citizens who were affected by these fires and provide them with all means necessary for a decent accommodation in the best way until this disaster may pass, God willing,” he said.
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune declared a three-day mourning period this week to honor the lives lost.
Tebboune said his North African nation would enter a three-day period of mourning starting Thursday, that would include suspending all government activities except for actions of solidarity.
Dozens of fires burned elsewhere across the north, but their deadly force was concentrated in Kabyle.