The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North

The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North
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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Over 150 huts gutted by fire in Bhutanese refugee camp

Thursday, 21 January 2010 10:03

More than 150 huts were gutted by fire in the Bhutanese refugee camp located in Beldangi, Damak, Jhapa, last night.

The fire that started from the hut of Lal Bahadur Lamgade at about 10.15 pm, Wednesday spread across the camp due to lack of fire fighters.

Although people in the refugee camp had informed fire brigades in Mechinagar, Damak and Bhadrapur as soon as the fire started, they did not turn up in time.

No casualty except a minor injury has been reported. A Bhutanese refugee Prithvi Lal Tamang has sustained burn injuries due to the fire.

The fire was taken in control at about 1.30 am, Thursday by the refugees with the help of police.

..............Follow up...............
Aid reaches hundreds of fire-affected Bhutanese refugees
Friday, 22 January 2010 17:01
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More than 400 refugees from Bhutan, who became homeless when fire swept through the Beldangi refugee camp in eastern Nepal Wednesday night, have now received emergency aid.

The government, UNHCR, and its NGO partners (Caritas, Lutheran World Federation, the Association of Medical Doctors of Asia) and WFP are providing immediate emergency assistance, according to a press release issued by UNHCR on Friday.

UNHCR and its NGO partners said they will distribute plastic sheets, blankets, mosquito nets, soaps, cooking kits, as well as materials such as bamboo to help the affected families rebuild their homes.

In total, an estimated US $39,000 will be required for emergency relief and reconstruction materials, said UNHCR.

Immediately after the fire, the homeless families temporarily moved to their neighbours and relatives huts, offices of the community based organisations and the camp school.

UNHCR said it will soon relocate the affected families to vacant huts in the camp or will build new huts.

The fire, which broke out at 9:45 p.m., destroyed 28 traditional thatched huts, including 31 huts that were dismantled to stop fire from spreading further. Another 13 huts were partially damaged.

Preliminary investigation suggests that the fire started accidentally from a candle in a hut.

Forty personnel from the Armed Police Force managed to control the fire within an hour with two fire engines from Itahari and Birtamod. There has been no serious injures or casualties.

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