National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Saturday revealed that over 400 individuals were displaced and needed assistance following the major fire incident that broke out in Henveiru ward of capital city Male' on Friday evening.
Although authorities initially stated that the fire originated at 'Fehiaabaadh' house in Henveiru ward, it was later confirmed that the fire started directly opposite the road at a 3-storey chemical storage facility at 'Thilafushi' house constructed from metal roofing sheets.
The unprecedented blaze quickly spread from the epicentre in the narrow 'Abadhahfehi Magu', with embers stoked by the wind setting fire to nearby houses along the street hours into the incident.
While no institutions have yet disclosed a detailed assessment on the damages caused, Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) revealed late Friday that 7 houses and 4 chemical storage facilities caught ablaze. One of the flame-engulfed buildings collapsed as the fire weakened its structure.
Chief Executive of NDMA Hisan Hassan revealed on Saturday that 443 people were brought into Kalaafaanu School, Imaduddine School and Majeedhiyya School which were designated as relief centres for families affected in the fire.
A large number of civilian volunteers mobilised and were active throughout and following the incident in relief efforts to provide aid to the displaced individuals.
The volunteers arrived in droves late Friday and throughout Saturday at each respective relief centre to make donations to the victims.
Further, independent local businesses made contributions including food, clothing, bedding and other essentials.
Hisan assured that all displaced persons were receiving aid and those basic necessities were provided.
He further disclosed that 83 people from 13 families were moved to temporary housing and that 59 expats were receiving temporary shelters.
He revealed that while certain displaced individuals had moved to accommodation provide by relatives, NDMA would closely monitor their living conditions.