At least five persons have been reported dead and several others injured following a rainstorm that wreaked havoc on communities in Damaturu, Yobe State capital Monday evening.
Many houses were also destroyed by the rainstorm which started around 5:30pm and barely lasted an hour.
- 2023: I’ll work to unlock potential in Niger – Malagi
- Six soldiers, policeman killed in Taraba clash, military commander missing
The wind that preceded the rainfall also caused several accidents as motorists parked on the roads when they could no longer see clearly.
A resident of Sani Daura Ahmed Extension, Abdullahi Umar Bakoro, said he lost his wife and two children when their house collapsed due to the rainstorm.
Bakoro who spoke with Daily Trust on Tuesday said he communicated with his wife on phone 15 minutes before the calamity.
“I have seen many deaths of family members and relatives but it is painful losing someone who you spoke to and so full of life in a few minutes.
“When my neighbour insisted I should rush home in the middle of the rainstorm, I realised something was really wrong. As I was coming home my neighbour was trying to convey them to the hospital unfortunately they died before we even reached there. They were buried today.
“About 70 houses in this area were affected by the rainstorm with either building collapse or their roofs blown off,” he said.
Another resident, Mohammed Sani Bello, said his house roof was blown off but he was lucky as there was no loss of life or injuries recorded by his family.
He said his family had started squatting with relatives and friends elsewhere.
“It is a difficult situation, some of us were struggling with what to eat before this calamity befell us; we are currently helpless in the current financial hardships,” Bello added.
Bulama Modu, 64, who was caught in the midst of the storm on his way home, said he became scared.
“I am in my 60s now but this is the deadliest rainstorm I have ever seen in Damaturu. We pray that this should be the last one and may Allah replace our losses.”
Dr Mohammed Goje, the Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), said the agency responded to the victims instantly.
He said 41 victims from six different locations were evacuated to the hospital while five persons had been confirmed dead and 23 persons already discharged.
Meanwhile, Governor Mai Mala Buni who had earlier directed free treatment to all victims, has visited the victims at the Damaturu Specialists Hospital where he gave a cash donation to the victims.
The governor also visited the houses of those who died in the storm to condole their families.
Buni, according to a statement by his Director General Press and Media, Mamman Mohammed, urged the people to heed to weather forecast issued by relevant agencies such as NIMET, adding that government would provide drainage in new layouts to check flooding.