Eight thousand people were made homeless when a disastrous fire in the early hours of Jan 16 gutted a large squatter area in Kowloon, Hong Kong.
PAN..of fire victims at registration centre
MLS Social Welfare staff register victims
MS Blankets are issued to victims, PAN to queue
MS Victims with salvaged belongings
MS Food is distributed
PAN..of shed being erected
LV Victims in sheds under construction
MLV Victims having meals
PAN..of destroyed area
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Background: Eight thousand people were made homeless when a disastrous fire in the early hours of Jan 16 gutted a large squatter area in Kowloon, Hong Kong.
Early estimates said about six people, including two children, were feared killed and ten injured in the fire which started in a ramshackle hut used for making rubber shoes. The flames, fanned by strong winds, spread over the whole valley, completely gutting the 1,000 huts occupied by squatters, mostly refugees from the Chinese People's Republic.
Immediately after the fire - Hong Kong's biggest in the last eight years - the Social Welfare Department and other welfare associations began registration of the victims and distribution of food and blankets. From the early morning hours the fire victims streamed into the reception ground with whatever belongings they could salvage. Mat-sheds and temporary canopies were put up to give temporary shelter to the homeless thousands. Many of them moved in even as the scaffolding were just being erected and there was still no roof over their heads.