South RP Fire Leaves 7,000 People Homeless

November 4, 2007 at 4:17 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 04, 2007) – Two people had died and thousands were left homeless after a fire swept through several neighborhoods in an island-town off Sulu province in southern Philippines, officials said on Sunday.

Officials said dozens were hurt in the fire that left more than 7,000 people homeless late Saturday afternoon in South Laud village in Siasi town.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated. But police said many of the houses in the village were made of lumber and strong winds helped fan the fire.

“More than 7,000 people were without homes. (Sulu) Governor, Sakur Tan has ordered a massive relief operation on the island to help the victims. We are doing our best to immediately help as many people as we can,” Khalil Hajibin, a member of the Sulu Provincial Council, who led the relief operation, told the Mindanao Examiner.

Sulu police chief, Superintendent Ahiron Ajirim, said they are still investigating the cause of the fire. “We are awaiting reports and so far at least two people – a couple – died from the fire,” he said in a separate interview.

He said the island had no fire engines and that soldiers and policemen helped villagers fight the blaze. Five policemen, he said, also lost their houses from the fire.

Other reports said the fire started from a store selling fuel, but it was unclear how it began.

It was the second fire in two months in Sulu province. Thousands were also left without homes after a fire broke out in the village of Asturias in Jolo town in September. (Mindanao Examiner)

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