From Alex Uzoigwe, Onitsha:
Several families and business concerns in Onitsha, Anambra State, are now woefully counting their losses following an unprecedented two –hour heavy down pour that hit the town at the weekend.
The rain which started at about 8:30 pm on the fateful day had stopped by 10 pm having claimed lives and devastated private and corporate properties. Areas heavily affected include Nwaziki, Mgbemena and Ebenator all in Awada as well as Okpoko Fegge and some parts of Odoakpo Onitsha.
According to our investigations and eye witness accounts, no less than four people died during the rain fall as properties worth millions of naira got destroyed. The deceased were said to have been carried by the flood as houses, perimeter fences, suck-away pits, billboards slabs and culverts were either pulled down or carried away.
A family source of one of the deceased had told our reporter that a male relation was found in a gutter after the rain. The man reportedly left his house at the onset of the rain, excusing himself across the street for a household consumable, but three hours after the rain he was said not to have returned.
Consequently the man’s wife and children who were said to have been restless over his unusual delayed return eventually left house, looking for him, but shockingly found his corpse in a gutter entangled among refuse on the Awka Road at about 12 midnight.
Also in a more grotesque tragedy, the same rain flood killed three children of the same parents in the town. The mother of the fatherless children was reported to have gone to a prayer vigil on the fateful night locking the children up in the house.
Neighbours whose houses were equally pulled down by the raging flood said that they thought the woman was on ground when the disaster started which belief they said made them to concentrate on salvaging their own household without knowing that nobody was taking care of the defenseless children.
When our reporter visited the scenes, victims of the flood were seen bailing water from their apartments and clearing debris of their fallen houses, walls and sucker pits while a scourging crowd milled around consoling them. Neither the police nor local government officials of the affected areas were on ground for comments as at the time of report.