As of Friday, July 28, fierce fires have reportedly hit the capital Djibouti and its surrounding area for several days. The fires have caused significant infrastructural damages; at least 200 homes have been destroyed, leaving hundreds of families homeless. Balbala, a major suburb near Djibouti mainly composed of shantytowns, is the most affected area. According to the Ministry of the Interior, illegal connections to the electricity grid prompted the fires, while opposition members place the blame on recurrent power outages in recent weeks that provoked an electrical surge. The president pledged to quickly relocate the victims and first aid distributions began this week.
Violent winds, temperatures exceeding 40°C (104°F), and fires are frequent in Djibouti between May and October. However, the level of these fierce fires appears to be unprecedented.
Individuals in Djibouti are advised to monitor developments to the situation and to adhere to any advice or instructions issued by local authorities (e.g., evacuation orders, road closures).