Monday, November 21, 2011

Five Fires in Arakan State this November


Mra Bon: Five consecutive fires broke out this November in western Burma's Arakan State, with the latest one gutting 146 houses in Cittara Village in cyclone-ravaged Mraybon Township.

A resident from Cittara village whose house was destroyed in the fire, told Narinjara that they have become homeless again after their homes - newly reconstructed after being hit by Cyclone Giri - were burned up in the fire.

"We had just rebuilt our houses that were badly damaged in Cyclone Giri last year. Our houses have not gone to the fire and we are homeless again," said the resident with tears in his eyes.

146 houses were gutted in the fire that broke out at 8:30 am and burned until 1 pm on 19 November in Cittara Village in Mraybon Township. The houses had just been rebuilt or repaired after being hit by Cyclone Giri last year.

"I do not know how and from which house the fire started, but there were no humans injured or killed in the fire," said the resident.

"Now we, the fire victims, are sheltering in the Buddhist monastery here and taking food offered by fellow and nearby villagers," he added. There are 400 homes in Cittara Village, one of the largest villages in Mraybon Township.

The fire in Cittara Village was the fifth to hit the state, after a similar disasters hit Kyauknimaw Village in Ramere Township on 1 November, Minbya's largest market on 12 November, Mrauk-U on 17 November, and Tamanthar Village in Maungdaw Township on 18 November.

According to local residents, they have been suffering from such fires every year, especially in the cool and dry season, in Arakan State due to failure by the local authorities to raise awareness on how to avoid fires, and failure to deploy fire services equipped with modern fire engines in their state.


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