A huge fire ripped through the tiny Moken Village on Surin Tai Island in Thailand’s south last night, destroying at least 65 houses and rendering almost 300 people homeless.
At about 8pm, Phang Nga Governor received a report that a fire had broken out in the village — home to an Austronesian people of the Mergui Archipelago — inside Surin National Park in Phang Nga Province.
Only 15 houses remain in the village, which has a population of about 300 people — 100 children and 200 adults, reported Khaosod. Fortunately, there were no casualties.
It reportedly took officials about an hour to tame the blaze.
Authorities suspect that the fire was caused by an accidental explosion that occurred as a villager was repairing their boat engine in the basement of a house, reported Workpoint.
Kuraburi police are reportedly investigating the home’s wreckage to confirm the cause of the fire.
As of press time women, children and the elderly have been evacuated to a temporary shelter in Chong Khat Bay on Surin Nuea Island.
The village has been declared “destroyed” and the government is working to support restoration efforts in accordance with the 2007 Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Act.
Survival kits, containing necessities like food, clothing and milk for babies, will reportedly be distributed to victims today.