At least forty shops worth millions of naira have been razed by fire at the Ikom main market in Ikom Local Government Area of Cross River State.
Eye witnesses said, the inferno which started at about 2am on Tuesday was due to a power surge from the public power supply and could not be contained in spite of frantic efforts by shop owners to put it out.
It was gathered that the state fire service station in Ikom, which was contacted for intervention could not act due to complaints of lack of facilities to combat the fire.
The Director General of the State Emergency Management Agency, Mr. John Inaku who visited the scene for a rapid assessment, expressed shock at the level of destruction.
Inaku said efforts would be made by the state government to ameliorate the sufferings of the victims.
According to him the burnt shops required total rehabilitation and urged the victims to remain calm.
One of the victims, Mr. Augustine Chinedu who said he lost virtually all his goods worth millions of naira said it was devastating and urged government to urgently come to his aid.
Miss Agbor Okey, a fashion designer said the incident has put her and the family in a difficult position as her shop was their only source of livelihood.
The chairman of the Ikom Main Market Traders Union, Mr. Caleb Agwu called on government agencies, non-governmental organiations and philanthropic individuals and organizations to help in cushioning the effect of the disaster.