Somalia: Huge fires razes down Mogadishu's oldest market


MOGADISHU, Somalia - A massive fire burnt down several properties in one of Mogadishu's oldest markets, officials said, in what left several traders counting losses, which saw several nearby buildings also badly affected according to eyewitnesses.

According to witnesses, the fire was reported at Hamarweyne District within the capital, Mogadishu, in what could yet again raise questions about the disaster preparedness of the municipality. Traders lost businesses and assets as ordinary people battled to put out the fire, locals confirmed.

It’s the latest of a series of fires that destroyed Somali markets for a number of years. No official statement has been issued on what caused but some suggested electrical faults may be to blame, given the circumstances surrounding the incident.

According to state media, no casualties were reported in the incident even as firefighters struggled to put off the fire on Friday evening. Later on, firefighters managed to put off the fire, rescuing some of the goods in stalls within the market.

"Firefighters have managed to control a massive fire that ravaged Hamarweyne market in Mogadishu on Friday evening. The cause of the fire is believed to be an electrical fault," officials confirmed later on after the fire was put off by the firefighters.

"Power companies will be investigated for the fire, according to Mogadishu Mayor Yusuf Madale, who was at the scene," added the report by the state media, without giving further details about the incident.

The incident comes at the time Somalia is battling heavy floods after rivers Shabelle and Juba broke their banks, killing over 30 individuals so far. The government has come up with various mitigation measures, including but not limited to the donation of boats.

Also working hard in areas affected by floods are members of the Somali National Army, some who left the battlefield where they have been facing Al-Shabaab. Somalia is strengthening internal and external trade as a measure to rescue dwindling economic fortunes.


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