The residents of southern Thinadhoo Island are without power for a third night in the wake of a fire that destroyed its powerhouse. The state utility said it could take up to three months to rebuild the powerhouse, but hopes to restore power by Friday using donated electricity generators.
Electricity has been restored at the regional hospital, the university dormitory, one school, the bank and some government buildings today. The water plant is also operational.
Thinadhoo, the capital of Gaaf Dhaal Atoll, is home to some 5000 people.
Tuesday’s early morning fire burnt down three generators, but no one was harmed.
Ahmed Naseer, the president of the island council, said: “So far the people are in good health. The only difficulty we have is not having something that we are so used to having. It rained a lot last night and not having well lit roads had been difficult.”
Most households are using candles and kerosene lanterns to light up their homes.
The cause of the fire has not been established yet, but state-owned utility Fenaka Corporation officials said they do not think it was an accident. The fire caused some MVR22million (US$1.4million) in damages
The state-owned fisheries company has lit up the harbour area using generators at its ice plant and has offered cold storage for frozen food items.
Telco Dhiraagu, Ooredoo, and a nearby by resort, Amari Havodda, donated generators. Other resorts nearby have pledged to transport water should the island face any difficulties. The telcos have set up tents at the road side to charge batteries for phones.
The Maldives’ national airline Maldivian is offering cheap flights to Thinadhoo and is transporting necessities for free.
Thinadhoo ran out of fuel yesterday, but the state wholesaler State Trading Organization stepped in to provide fuel for lanterns.
A police crisis management team is also on the island to inform residents on safety and health issues during the crisis.