TRAGEDY: How 8-yr-old orphan was crushed by falling trees

Published 6 years ago by: Direct
at 08:06 AM, 2/06/2013 (6 years ago)

(8422 | Hero) (m)

The rains lasted only a quarter of an hour but the devastating effects reverberated in virtually all the villages of Boki, located some four hundred kilometers away from Calabar, the Cross River State capital.

The rains, accompanied by wind storm, pulled down houses, electrical installations, economic trees and rare plants species in the villages of Ntamante, Ishiagurube, Kakwagom ,Iruan and Okundi.

Even the home of the late former foreign affairs minister, Matthew Mbu, whose body was interred in a vault in Okundi, was not spared as the roofs of some houses in the expansive estate were ripped off.

The storm, which began at about 4pm, swept away virtually everything on its path.  By the time normalcy returned, over  three hundred and fifty houses including health posts, secondary school buildings and shops were devastated, leaving about 6,000 people displaced and one person, identified as eight year old Jany Atsu, dead.

When Sunday Vanguard visited the area, the deceased victim was said to have been struck by trees pulled down by the storm while returning from farm with her aunt.

The aunt, Madam Janet Abang, said the girl was an orphan having lost both parents some years back. According to the fifty-year-old woman, the deceased; another nine-year-old girl; and herself, were returning from  farm located in the forest when the windstorm came and started pulling down trees.  According to her, they managed to escape from some but two trees fell from both sides on the farm path and one hit Jany leaving deep cuts on her head.

“We were hurrying home along the path when two trees fell from both sides on us. When I recovered minutes later, I noticed Jany lying sideways and when I turned her over, I discovered two deep cuts on her head. By the time rescue could reach us, she had died,” Mrs Abang narrated.

Another victim, Obi Balim Obi (45), said she and her family were in the house when suddenly the roof of the house  lifted  and, on high speed, crashed on another building. “We thank God that we survived. It was like a movie”, she said.

An elderly woman, Regina Onabe (95), whose body was severely vibrating from old age and the psychological trauma inflicted on her by her leveled home, said she was lost for words on the impact of the storm.

Efforts were being made by those affected to arrange makeshift accommodation while others were trying to salvage what was left of their wrecked houses even as some displaced persons moved to the homes of relatives and public buildings such as churches and schools.

A member of the Cross River State House of Assembly representing Boki Two Constituency, Dr Jake Enya, described the incident as pathetic and called on philanthropic organizations, individuals and government to help the victims.

According to Enya, the devastation was unprecedented in the area and beyond the capacity of the people and local government to handle. “This is planting season and the people ought to be in their farm planting and what ever money they have should have been used in buying yams and renting labour and now this unprecedented devastation”, he said.

The Boki Local Government Council Chairman, Chief Jonah, regretted that Boki had, in the past few years, been experiencing disasters was being said, had affected the people socially and economically. He promised that arrangement would be made to accommodate the displaced people.

Mr Vincent Aqua, Director-General, Cross River State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), who visited the scene of tragedy, said the disaster was beyond the capacity of the state government to cope and appealed to the Federal Government, philanthropic organisations and individuals to assist in rehabilitating the victims.

In 2012, a landslide from the Afi mountain range in Boki swept away a part of Buachor community, displaced  thousands of people, and affected farm lands, houses, bridges while several lives were lost. Vice President Namadi Sambo visited the place and was appalled by the devastation which was attributed to climate change.

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ajanni at 09:02 AM, 2/06/2013 (6 years ago)
(95401 | Grande Master) (m)

RIP to the little girl
Unikpearl at 04:20 PM, 2/06/2013 (6 years ago)
(3048 | Gistmaniac) (f)

ajanni at 09:06 PM, 2/06/2013 (6 years ago)
(95401 | Grande Master) (m)

 Sad Sad Sad Sad


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