TACLOBAN CITY -- At least 300 houses were razed when a fire broke out in a populated coastal community Tuesday dawn in Catbalogan City, the capital of Samar province.
The City Government reported that the incident happened 2:50 a.m., Tuesday, May 8, in a residential area along Del Rosario Street near the city’s commercial district.
The fire, which was controlled after more than three hours, left hundreds of families homeless. Most houses are made of light materials. No one was hurt during the incident.
Firefighters from the Bureau of Fire Protection in the city and nearby towns were quick to respond, preventing the fire from reaching the nearby gasoline station.
Authorities are still investigating the cause of the fire and have yet to come up with the estimated cost of damage as of Tuesday noon.
In a meeting of the city disaster risk reduction and management council aired live by the city government through social media, Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan said the area is now off limits to affected families, but reassured them that they will not be relocated to other areas.
“We will provide basic needs of people and ensure their safety while they are inside evacuation centers. Rumors about plans of the city government to use the lot for other purposes is not true,” the mayor told council members.
Uy-Tan said they will not declare a state of calamity as they find means to address the needs of victims.
Catbalogan, the commercial, trading, educational, financial and political center of Samar province has a population of 103,879 people. ((PNA)