3rd September 2011
All News and Updates have now been moved to a stand alone page located in the “About Me & Cyprus” link at the top of my blog or under “My Blog Pages” in the right hand column – Cyprus Explosion – News
2nd September 2011
THE EVANGELOS Florakis naval base and the wider area should have been evacuated immediately after the first explosion in one of the damaged containers on July 4, a week before deadly blast that killed 13, State Lab Director Popi Kanari told the Mari Committee yesterday. After the first explosion, “it was too late to do anything,” said Kanari. She explained that from the first small explosion, a chemical was already underway that served as a catalyst for further processes.
31st August 2011
YESTERDAY’S proceedings of the Mari Committee were interrupted after several lawyers present seized the opportunity to attack the Committee’s legitimacy. The opportunity came when former National Guard Deputy Commander, Savvas Argyrou, refused to answer a question saying that it would clash the Attorney-General’s criminal investigation in relation to the July 11 naval base blast.
WHEN Nicosia lawyer Polys Polyviou was appointed, as a one-man committee, to carry out an investigation into the circumstances that led to the killer blast in Mari with the aim of establishing who was politically responsible for the disaster a host of questions were raised.
27th August 2011
AN INITIAL meeting took place yesterday between the Commerce Ministry and the Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority (CERA) on the prospect of electricity price hikes.
According to Commerce Minister Praxoulla Antoniadou, who remained tight-lipped on the issue, the meeting involved “an exchange of ideas.”
Rumours have been circulating of price hikes specifically who would foot the bill and when, since the devastating naval base blast that took out the Vassilikos power station. The lack of information has sparked speculations of a possible 25 per cent hike. (Information provided by the Cyprus Mail online newspaper)
26th August 2011
A NEW deal will be struck before the end of August to ensure power supply from the north continues, according to Manthos Mavrommatis, President of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KEVE). Despite a couple of weeks of uninterrupted electricity supply, a malfunction at Moni power station yesterday raised fears of a new wave of potential power cuts. According to the director of the Transmission System Operator (TSO) Christos Christodoulides, production at the aged power station was down 30MW yesterday.
REPRESENTATIVES of the demonstrators, who gather outside the presidential palace every night calling for the resignation of President Christofias, have alleged that their activities were being monitored by the secret service KYP. At a news conference held on Tuesday, the representatives alleged that plainclothes policemen were taking pictures of protestors and recording car registration numbers.
THE FAMILY of a naval officer killed in the July 11 blast are suing the state over criminal negligence, demanding over €2 million in damages. The civil suit, filed with the Nicosia District Court, is against the Republic, but specifically names President Demetris Christofias as responsible for the events of July 11.
24th August 2011
‘THE INDIGNANT’ are in no way related to EOKA B’, the Archbishop, or any political party, the group; said yesterday in response to allegations they were being secretly funded from political quarters. The group said they are being targeted by the government and its mouthpiece Haravghi as “a mob of barbarians” and accused the Secret Service of cataloguing the names and car registration numbers of demonstrators at the Presidential Palace and at Kellaki. Stasis also claimed that two members of The Indignant, both civil servants, were threatened by Secret Service staff that they would lose their jobs unless they disclosed information on who was funding the Indignant’s protests.
21st August 2011
Dangerous munitions are still being stored in residential areas…….
THE NATIONAL Guard has continued to store aged, obsolete and useless munitions in a residential area, almost a month after announcing their destruction it emerged yesterday.
POLICE YESTERDAY filed the first criminal cases on the Mari naval base blast against three National Guard (NG) officers, it transpired last night.
19th August 2011
THE ELECTRICITY Authority of Cyprus (EAC) announced yesterday that it managed to fix a 35MW gas turbine at Vassilikos Power Station, months ahead of schedule.
MEMBERS of the ‘Indignant’ protest group finally reached the Presidential Palace last night having travelled 300 kilometres in blazing temperatures to honour the 13 people killed in the July 11 Mari blast and publicise their demands that those responsible be brought to justice. Read the full story by clicking on the image below:
15th August 2011
POLICE yesterday rubbished a media report suggesting that a Presidential Palace document linked to the seizure of 98 containers of Iranian munitions, which exploded a month ago killing 13, had been altered.
MEMBERS of the ‘Indignant’, a group of citizens outraged over the Mari blast, yesterday continues their 300km march in memory of the 13 victims killed in the July 11 naval base explosion. Friday’s march ended outside the Limassol District Offices with the escort of motorcyclists, where the marchers were welcomed by scores of people.
12th August 2011
UNDER the main slogan “Wake up, sheep,” hundreds of activists yesterday set out on an island-wide march in memory of the 13 people killed last month at Mari. In addition to honouring the dead, the “Volunteers of Awakening,” as they call themselves, are demanding that the culprits for July 11 be brought to justice.
11th August 2011
IT WILL take two-and-a-half years to fully restore the Vassilikos Power Plant but there should be no more power cuts as of September, the Director of the Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority (CERA) told journalists yesterday. Giorgos Shammas also indicated that by the end of August it should also be clear how much of the electricity bill the public will have to foot.
THE CABINET has sacked the National Guard’s (NG) deputy commander, Savvas Argyrou, for reasons of ‘national interest,’ government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou announced yesterday. Stefanou said Argyrou’s was removed in line with the “police’s undergoing criminal investigation regarding the containers’ explosion at Evangelos Florakis naval base in Mari.”
DISY leader Nicos Anastassiades yesterday reiterated calls for President Demetris Christofias’ resignation as he received over 10,000 signatures demanding the same thing. Anastassiades was speaking to a group of people from the citizens’ movement ‘The Indignant’, or ‘I Aganaktismeni’, in its Greek name.
10th August 2011
DETECTIVES are assessing any information on possible forging of official documents relating to the Mari disaster, the police said yesterday, following media reports that a Foreign Ministry document was tampered with after July 11 in order to let former FM Marcos Kyprianou off the hook.
POLICE yesterday were forced to apologise for causing distress to residents of Palodhia and Ayia Fyla in Limassol by destroying firecrackers early in the morning without any notice. (Slightly off topic)
The Electricity Authority (EAC) announced today that eight Limassol district villages would be affected by an increase in electricity demand this month forcing the EAC to move the eight communities from Zone 5 to Zone 2 on its power cut schedule.
7th August 2011
A 300KM island wide march starting on Thursday 10th August at Paphos town hall at 7.30pm and ending at the Presidential Palace a week later on 17th August is being organised by a group of people in Limassol.
According to one of its organisers Andreas Onisiforou, the aim is to honour the 13 who died in the naval base blast on July 11.
Onisiforou is urging people to join in, either for the whole route or even for some of it.
For more information call Onisiforou on: 96 459902
4th August 2011
THE JULY 11 explosion that destroyed the island’s main power station of Vassilikos causing an energy crisis will lead to a 2.4 per cent drop in GDP annually, a University of Cyprus (UCy) study says. “Naval blast will cost every household €1,400” says the Cyprus Mail.
3rd August 2011
CRIMINAL CHARGES will be brought against those responsible for last month’s Evangelos Florakis explosion no later than early October, House president Yiannakis Omirou said yesterday. He also said the committee had received a document from the AG regarding the contents of the investigation thus far and which only committee members would have access to.
THE DEFENCE Ministry yesterday announced the suspension of three National Guard (NG) officers in connection with a criminal investigation into the events leading to the Evangelos Florakis naval base blast on July 11. The full story and the names of the suspended officers can be found here.
2nd August 2011
CYPRIOT tycoon Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou yesterday said he was launching a campaign to collect donations for the families of the 13 men who died in the July 11 naval base blast.
Haji-Ioannou said he was surprised that everyone focused on the political angle of the matter and only a few did anything to help the families who lost loved ones in this tragedy. Read more…
AROUND 40 people yesterday marched roughly 50 kilometres to commemorate the 13 soldiers and fire-fighters killed in the July 11 munitions blast at the Evangelos Florakis naval base. On their way to Nicosia, the marchers stopped in 13 villages – one for each victim. Full story here.
31st July 2011
THREE NATIONAL Guard (NG) senior officers were due to be suspended last night or today as part of investigations into the Mari naval base disaster, while suspension of a fourth has been held up pending orders from Greece.
The due suspensions come on the back of last Wednesday’s suspension by the police of four senior Fire Service officials.
31st July 2011
Those who understood the seriousness of it had no say…..
“Had I been aware of the serious problem in Cyprus I would have encouraged further dialogue on it. The issue was never raised in the seminar. I’m not sure the Cypriot MPs were aware of it though this is something that will likely be part of an investigation. It is an issue that should have been of strong parliamentary interest,” said the General Secretary of the international Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Light Weapons’s (Peter Weiderud).
28th July 2011
FOUR SENIOR Fire Service officials, including fire chief Andreas Nicolaou, were yesterday suspended from active duty for the duration of an ongoing police investigation into the fatal explosion at the ‘Evagenlos Florakis’ naval base. Click here for the full story.
26th July 2011
AN inquiry into the causes of a deadly blast earlier this month will be swift and transparent and will not exempt anyone, the investigator said yesterday.
24th July 2011
MP refutes ‘you knew’ report – THE chairman of the House Defence Committee yesterday denied media reports suggesting a high-ranking army officer had accused former defence minister Costas Papacostas of knowing the danger concerning the munitions that eventually exploded on July 11, killing 13 people.
23rd July 2011
THE UNIVERSITY of Cyprus said yesterday its admissions office would give special treatment to children of the victims’ of the July 11 tragedy as part of the institution’s initiative to support the bereaved families.
A BRITISH experts’ preliminary report on the July 11 naval base blast was yesterday added to the body of evidence indicating that safety rules had been ignored the storage of 98 containers filled with munitions and other material. More here.
Power supply improves…for now.
The island got a stern reminder on Thursday that the energy crisis was far from over when a series of breakdowns in secondary sources of supply resulted in numerous outages islandwide.
AMMUNITION and explosives safety standards were not met when authorities stored 98 containers of munitions at the Evangelos Florakis naval base in 2009. According to the experts the fire – which resulted in a blast creating a crater 60 metres in diameter and 15 metres deep – had originated in the containers and nowhere else. The report as published by daily Politis said “producing a crater of that size would take the equivalent of 421 tonnes of TNT”. Many rules were broken by Cyprus. Full story here.
22nd July 2011
THE EUROPEAN Union will help Cyprus “wherever it can”, the EU Regional Policy Commissioner yesterday assured the government during a visit to the destroyed Vasilikos power plant. However, it’s still unclear as to what kind of help may be offered as financial assistance is generally only given out to help with “natural disasters” of which the explosion at Vasilikos power station most certainly was not “natural” – it was pure stupidity and ignorance of other people’s lives!
TECHNICIANS were scrambling last night to restore two damaged turbines at the Moni power station, while a simultaneous problem at a power plant in the north forced authorities here to temporarily reintroduce at least two power cuts. (The answer to my question below is here)
21st July 2011
AS OF yesterday authorities announced that power cuts would be limited to one per day without night or weekend blackouts, Trade and Industry Minister Antonis Paschalides said. So, can someone please explain how we had 3 power cuts at our house in Ypsonas today? First at 10.30am, the second at 3.45pm and hopefully our last this evening with power restored just 10 minutes ago!!!!
LEADING the charge against the government yesterday was Archbishop Chrysostomos, who expressed dismay on learning that the Turkish Cypriot regime would be supplying the south with power. “I’d rather get by with a lantern and flashlight,” the Prelate remarked. “If they had asked me, I would have told them not to bring electricity from the occupied areas or to have electricity given to the Archbishopric.” Read more.
20th July 2011
A COUPLE of conflicting stories both published on the same day regarding contamination of food and the surrounding area of the blast site at Mari/Zygi.
“HEALTH MINISTER Christos Patsalides assured residents of Mari as well as members of the House that public health was not in danger as a result of last week’s massive naval base explosion in the area. Speaking after a meeting with Mari residents and Environment Commissioner Charalambos Theopemptou, Patsalides said there was nothing to cause concern regarding public health.” Read the complete article in the Cyprus Mail.
And this from CyprusNewsReport
“”Food products from the region around the blast zone around Evangelos Florakis naval base have been banned from the market until the State Laboratories complete their tests, said Director of the laboratories Dr. Poppi Kannari.”
So, which do we believe? Feel free to add your comments and let me know what you think….
18th July 2011
SORRY, no update yesterday – too many power cuts both at home and at work meant I could not spend time enough on the internet. Keep an eye on the right hand column under the heading Cyprus Online News for stories published by the Cyprus Mail.
17th July 2011
NEW EVIDENCE reported regarding a previous explosion is revealed. Read more
PAPHOS is getting peed off with the power cuts. “There seems to be absolutely no logical daily pattern in the cuts and its making life very difficult,” said Paphos businessman Spyros Antoniades Read more
BEFORE & AFTER images of the blast area. A big crater can be seen to the left of the picture where the ammunition cache was located. Amazing interactive photo!
Today we’ve experienced the aftermath of this at first hand. I was in the hairdressers earlier today (a very rare event for me) and they were having a few problems due to the controlled power cuts. Luckily, they do have a generator but it was causing a few hiccups so the power kept tripping on and off until Kostas got it all under control. Then later this afternoon we’ve had our very first power cut in our local village of Ypsonas. We were switched off at 1:45pm and came back on a little over 2hrs later. It’s been a very hot and muggy day but thank goodness there was a small breeze and a few clouds came along to help us stay on top of things – just. Houses in Cyprus are pretty much concrete boxes. They work like storage heaters in the summer so all the heat just pours out of the walls at you and in winter, it’s a complete opposite. The lack of insulation means any heat you build up just disappears as soon as it’s turned off. At the hairdressers they told me that it may take between 6 and 12 months before we have power fully restored to the island. Meanwhile, Cyprus has received generators from Israel and Greece.
AROUND eight to nine experts will be coming from various member states tomorrow to assess the damage caused by the devastating naval base explosion on Monday. Read more
“Fireman had no idea what they were getting in to” – Read more
Heatwave warning given out to Cyprus as the power cuts are set to continue. Read more