TODAY NICARAGUA – A fire over the weekend in Nicaragua has destroyed the Mercado Oriental,one of the biggest markets in Central America, part of a traditional market in the centre of the capital, Managua.

More than 60 stalls and shops at the Mercado Oriental have been lost to the blaze, which began in the early hours on Sunday. Shopkeepers and market workers rushed to the area to try to rescue their belongings and minimise their losses.

It took firefighters four hours to control the fire. There were no casualties, the authorities said.

The fire began before 06:00 local time (13:00 BST). Firefighters struggled to reach the central area of the market, according to Nicaragua’s Disaster Prevention Agency.

Access to many hydrants has been blocked by shops built illegally over the years as the market expanded without proper planning, local media reported.

An estimated 100,000 people visit Nicaragua’s biggest market every day.

Sources: Eldiarionuevo.com.ni; Prensa.com.ni