Fire destroys over 60 houses in Tonj North

Properties of unknown value were destroyed after a fire burnt 64 houses in Tonj North County of Warrap State over the weekend. No injuries were reported in the incident.

State Information Minister, Ring Deng Adiing, told Radio Tamazuj on Monday that the fire erupted in Akecdit village of Alebek Payam on Saturday at around 10 AM.

Ring, who visited the scene, said the fire destroyed a number of properties including food items. He described the incident as tragic.

“I witnessed it myself on date 7th May when I was in the scene. The wildfire burned 64 houses and properties,” Ring explained.

He said the cause of the fire remains unclear.

The state minister has called upon fire experts and humanitarian organizations to provide the necessary support to the people in the area.

"I would like to appeal to relevant departments at the University of Juba and other universities, especially departments of ecology and climatology to come and assess the situation in order to give us an understanding of what is happening,” he said.

“I would also like to appeal to the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission in Juba to quickly respond to address humanitarian needs because it's already rainy season,” Ring added.

Tooc Koor, a resident of Akuecdit whose huts were burnt to ashes, said: “The fire started with my houses four days ago. My wife fell sick and I took her to hospital and the fire burned everything in the house, and it continued like that in the whole village.”

Meanwhile, Gabriel Anyar, the Chairperson for the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission in the state, said his office is aware of the incident and that together with partners, they will conduct an assessment of the situation.

“We will be having a meeting on Wednesday so that we assess the area because the information we gathered is that 64 houses have been burned," he said.

Wildfire incidents are common across the country, particularly during the dry season.

In 2019, more than 50 people died and dozens were injured in a wildfire in the former Lol State.

In February 2020, a wildfire erupted in Nzara County in Western Equatoria State, killing one person and leaving hundreds homeless.

Just last year, one person was reported dead and 19 others sustained serious injuries after a wildfire in Yambio County, Western Equatoria State.

Source: Radio Tamazuj

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