Wildfire Devastates Idyllic Caribbean Island Without Fire Station, Forcing Hundreds To Flee
This footage shows the devastating fire on the usually picturesque Caribbean Island of Guanaja that has no fire service to tackle the spreading flames, forcing hundreds of residents to flee.
Guanaja is a small island covering 19 square kilometres (7.3 square miles) located 70 kilometres (43.8 miles) off the north coast of Honduras in the Caribbean.
The fire started for reasons that are not yet clear on Saturday, 2nd October.
As seen in the footage, the fire has devastated the island, which has no fire service of its own, destroying over 100 buildings, according to Reuters.
Al-Jazeera reported that, despite extensive damage to numerous buildings and homes on the island, there have been no reported fatalities and only four injuries.
Max Gonzales, minister of the National System for Risk Management and National Contingencies Agency, told local media: “We can confirm that we have no human losses but vast material losses.”
Gonzales added that so far at least 120 homes have been damaged by the fire and 90 have been entirely destroyed.
The news site El Heraldo reported that 400 people fled the island before the flames were brought under control after the air force dropped water on the island yesterday, 3rd October.
Mireya Guillen, the island’s deputy mayor, said: “At the moment, we need help with everything – food, water and oxygen tanks.”
The island’s 6,000 inhabitants depend heavily on tourism to survive as visitors come from all over the world to snorkel and scuba dive in the crystal clear waters.
However, even before the fire, the tourism industry was struggling due to the impact of COVID-19.
It is unclear where those with damaged homes will be housed.
An estimate of the financial damage caused by the fire has not yet been released.