A fire on Guanaja, one of the Bay Islands in Honduras, has destroyed 90 buildings, damaged 120 houses and affected more than 2,500 people, according to Honduran newspaper La Prensa.
The fire started in the early hours on Saturday, 1 Oct., on the small cay of Bonacca, which is home to most of Guanaja’s 4,000 residents.
Because the island does not have its own fire department, the fire spread uncontrolled until rescue services could be dispatched from Roatan, a neighbouring island, and the Honduran Air Force dropped water on the flames.
It took until late morning to get the fire under control. Three fire-related injuries were reported, but no fatalities.
In a statement, Premier Wayne Panton offered his sympathy and support to those affected, saying the images and footage of the fire had been “heart-breaking to see”.
He said Caymanians maintain close kinship and strong cultural links with the Bay Islands, located 360 miles southwest of Grand Cayman, as many Bay Islanders and Caymanians share a common heritage and multiple family ties.
“Many of our friends and relatives in Bonacca have watched as fire destroyed their homes and earthly possessions, disrupting their peaceful and close-knit community,” the premier said.
“I also wish to assure all those directly or indirectly affected by this fire that the people of the Cayman Islands stand ready to offer our support and assistance as they come to terms with the destruction and seek to rebuild their community.”
Panton noted that many churches, service clubs, businesses and individuals had already begun collecting aid for those impacted by the fire.
“On behalf of the Government, I pledge to assist the people of Bonacca and one of our first steps will be to organise a cargo flight by Cayman Airways to transport supplies and donations collected for the people of Bonacca to Juan Manuel Galvez International Airport in Roatan.”
Further details would be announced soon, he added.