A massive fire at the award-winning Gili Lankanfushi Resort completely destroyed seven over-water villas and damaged the restaurant and kitchen.
The fire broke out around 11pm Wednesday night and spread from the water villas across the island in North Malé atoll. It was put out around 5am by resort staff working with fire fighters from the Maldives National Defence Force.
All the guests and staff were accounted for and evacuated from the island with alternative accommodation arranged at other resorts, according to Gili Lankanfushi.
A full investigation will be launched soon, the resort assured.
All of the rooms in the high-end resort are over-water villas. The fire spread from the villas to the restaurant and kitchen on the island.
No one was injured and the cause of the fire was unclear, an MNDF spokesman told the press. According to media reports, the fire was difficult to control due to a strong easterly wind.
The resort was expected to be fully occupied as the Christmas and New Year period is traditionally the peak season for the Maldives tourism industry.
Tourism Minister Ali Waheed visited the island after the fire was brought under control. The resort is a 20-minute speedboat ride away from the capital and international airport.
Gili Lankanfushi on fire. pic.twitter.com/IAQJhkcScD
— Maimoon (@Mrsays_) January 2, 2019