Maldives appeals for help after a fire cuts off water supply to capital

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The Maldives has appealed for help after its capital's water supply was cut off because of a fire in the city's water treatment plant.

Government Minister Mohamed Shareef said Friday that power to the water plant in the capital, Male, had left 100,000 residents without water. The fire happened Thursday.

He said the government has declared a crisis situation and appealed to India, Sri Lanka and China and the United States for help.

The capital is located on a low-lying island in the Indian Ocean that has no natural water source and depends entirely on treated sea water.

The government provided bottled drinking water free of charge but the people struggled without enough water for washing.