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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Over 500 rendered homeless as windstorm destroys homes in Cross River

A powerful windstorm has rendered over 500 persons homeless and about 407 houses destroyed in Obubra Local Government Area of Cross River State.

Cross River
Residents rendered homeless as roof is ripped off

The windstorm followed heavy rainfall on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, in 10 communities in Ofumbongha 1, Ofumbongha 2, Ofumbongha 3, Ofumbongha 4, Yala-Obubra, Osakan, and Araragha.

Others include those in Ofumbongha/Yala ward and Daily Market, Mile 1, and Ogada 2 in Obubra Urban ward.

It was gathered that the severe damages observed during an on-the-spot assessment carried out by the communities’ youths include roofs ripped off, houses flattened, and electric poles pulled down.

One of the leaders in the area, Solomon Ekam, revealed that the storm has also disrupted power supply in Obubra Urban and Ofumbongha/Yala axis.

The Central Youth President of Ofumbongha, Malachi Bassey, said this was not the first time they are experiencing such disaster as he called for urgent intervention.

“The recurrence of such a disaster highlights the vulnerability of the communities, we need urgent intervention,” he appealed.

A resident of Osakan community, David Abam, also lamented: “The heavy storm of last Tuesday has destroyed houses, electricity, and business premises and even economic trees were not speared.”

Cross River
Destroyed homes

The Clan Head of Ofumbongha, Chief Lawrence, while commenting on the incident, appealed to the government, NGOs, private individuals, and relevant agencies to provide immediate aid to the displaced victims as many of the affected individuals are currently seeking refuge in public facilities, such as school classrooms, town halls, and health centres.

He also called on the leaders of the various communities to ensure that their people are adequately settled.

In a statement released to newsmen in Calabar, the principal counsel of Basic Rights Counsel Initiative (BRCI), James Ibor, appealed to government and relevant agencies to intervene urgently.

“We urgently appeal to the Government and the Ministries of Humanitarian Affairs to intervene and provide the necessary support to those affected by this unfortunate disaster.”

On his part, the member representing Obubra/Etung Federal Constituency, Mike Etaba, assured residents of the affected communities of swift government intervention. He pledged to mobilise resources and coordinate relief efforts to support those affected.

The lawmaker, represented by his Media Aide, Eriacy Confidence Oba, who visited some of the communities affected by the storm, reiterated his commitment to ensuring the well-being and safety of his constituents, emphasising the Federal Government’s commitment to providing assistance in times of crisis.

A lawmaker, Ovat Agbor, the member representing Obubra I State Constituency in the Cross River State House of Assembly, during his visit to the affected areas, pledged to mobilise members of the House and the state in addressing the immediate needs of the affected areas, while also signalling a commitment to long-term recovery and resilience-building initiatives.

By Tina Ezin

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