'Expats unrelated to fire sought aid at shelter'

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)'s Chief Executive Hisaan Hassan has revealed that foreigners who were unrelated to Friday night's tragic fire sought aid at the temporary shelter set up by NDMA for the victims of the fire.

Friday night's massive fire originated in a chemical warehouse in Abadhahfehi Magu, Henveiru which destroyed three other warehouses and six homes in the same area. More than 400 people registered themselves at the temporary shelter, and accommodation was been arranged for some of the victims, said NDMA.

Speaking at a press conference held at the President's Office on Sunday to provide information of the incident, Hisaan said a large number of expatriates sought assistance at the shelter set up at Kalaafaanu School. While none of them had any documentation on them, Hisaan said the identity cards and other documents were lost to the fire. Hisaan stated relevant authorities are working to provide the necessary documents at the earliest.

Hisaan said that once NDMA was informed that one of the buildings that burnt down was used as accommodation for expatriates, NDMA provided the necessary assistance to the large number of foreigners who sought assistance at the shelter.

However, Maldives Immigration informed NDMA that 59 expatriates who sought assistance at the shelter were unrelated to the fire incident, said Hisaan. While some of them were employed at local construction companies, they were handed over to their employers, and the remaining expatriates went back to their usual places of work.

Temporary housing was arranged for all expats who came to the shelter at the National stadium. However, Hisaan said NDMA is no longer aiding the expatiates who attempted to gain housing and aid falsely, and confirmed that the expatriates currently housed at the National Stadium are victims of the fire.

A group of people from Addu City had also attempted to gain aid falsely from the shelter under the guide of being victims of the fire, revealed Hisaan.

Hisaan said accounts have been set up at Bank of Maldives to which donations can be sent to help the victims of the fire. Hisaan requested to transfer or deposit donations instead of issuing cheques or donating in cash.