President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has instructed all relevant authorities to immediately commence the work of relocating all chemical storages to a safe and isolated location away from residential areas. He gave these directions while meeting the National Disaster Council in light of the tragic fire incident that took place in Male’ last night.

At the meeting held in Mulee’aage this afternoon, the President held extensive discussions with relevant authorities in regards to the current practice of storing hazardous flammable chemicals in densely populated areas and the probable threats it causes to the residents living in Male’.

During the meeting, Ministry officials of Maldives Defense and National Security briefed the President on the details of all varities of goods storages and warehouses in Male’ and brought to light that there are 126 chemical storages in Male' as of now.

MNDF officials also emphasized on the challenges they face due to the lack of proper rules and guidelines on how to deal with hazardous chemicals and further stated that they are currently working on gazetting the rules and regulations on importing, storing and abolishing of hazardous chemicals in the Maldives. The President urged the authorities to speed up the process and immediately begin following the new guidelines and rules.

Moreover, National Disaster Management Authority officials provided the President with the latest updated information regarding the progress of providing assistance and temporary housing to those affected in the tragic fire incident last night. The President also enquired about the current situation of the people who were affected in the fire and requested the authorities to provide assistance to the level where the school students affected in the fire would be able to attend school tomorrow.

Moreover, the National Disaster Management Authority emphasized that today they have commenced conducting the engineering assessment of 43 houses that were evacuated due to the fire last night. They also stated that they would give permission for the residents to come back to their homes after conducting a full assessment of the affected houses and after cleaning up the aftermath of the fire.

During this meeting, the President shared information and held discussions on the short term and long term plan regarding the storage of goods in the Male’ region, stating that the top priority is to relocate such warehouses and storage spaces out of Male’.