From Priscille Ediare, Teen-Ekiti
For many residents of Ise-Ekiti and Orun-Ekiti in Ise-Orun Local Government Area of Ekiti State on March 31, 2022 will forever be remembered. It was the day a rainstorm ripped the roofs off many buildings, demolished many houses, destroyed other properties and rendered many residents homeless.
The rain, which was not the first in the communities for the year, started as normal rain and was suddenly followed by a storm, wreaking havoc on the communities.
Some locals said they had never witnessed such an incident in their lives, others said it happened decades ago.
Telling the story to the Daily Sun, the victims said their families had narrowly escaped death as the rainstorm lasted, thanking God there were no recorded deaths or injuries and that it did not. did not happen overnight.
The rain, which lasted about 30 minutes, affected dozens of residential homes, including bungalows and apartment buildings, schools, churches, mosques, shops, kiosks and observation centers, among others.
Residents counted their losses and pleaded with the state government, individuals and others to intervene urgently. One of the victims, Mr. Aloba Bamidele Tunbosun, whose car and the hall of the observation center were completely destroyed, said: “On Thursday March 31, I returned home around 5 p.m. and parked my car in my enclosure. It wasn’t until five minutes after I entered my house that the rain started and destroyed the front and rear windshields of my car, a Toyota Camry sedan, and demolished the large hall that I use as a center of visualization. He also destroyed the roof of my house. The rain lasted about 30 minutes but just five minutes after the rain started, there was a big thunderstorm. The storm happened in three stages, causing all this havoc that you see. The storm blew off the entire roof of my observation center, placed it over my car, destroying the front and rear screens, and completely flattened the walls of the observation center. Later he lifted the roof and rafters off the top of my car and placed it on the roof at the back of my house, where I stay, also destroying the roof of the building.
“Things that were destroyed inside the viewing center included my two plasma televisions measuring 55 inches each, six ceiling fans, benches, electrical fittings, DSTV decoders, burglar alarms, doors and some other stuff.
“Inside the observation center, I also had a betting section. All of the equipment I use in this section was destroyed, including large HP printers, two laptops, two desktops, six monitors, amplifiers, and a few other things. I call on the Ekiti State Government and Governor John Kayode Fayemi to please assist me.
Another victim, Reverend Ayeni BO, the vicar in charge of the Emmanuel Anglican Church of Orun-Ekiti, whose church was completely destroyed, said: “The rain fell on March 31, around 4:45 p.m., and it was accompanied by a very strong storm, which destroyed the whole church building removing the roofs, destroying the rafters and the roofing sheets and knocking down the walls and, as you can see, so many things in the church were damaged, such as the sound system, fans, electrical installations, plastic chairs, doors and windows and other things.
“It’s the second rain of the year and it destroyed our church. Thank goodness there were no injuries as by the time the rain started we were supposed to be in the church for a program which was due to start at 5pm. I didn’t know what had delayed me and my family members that we weren’t in church at the time.
“Today’s Sunday service was held inside the rectory at the back of the church, and the storm also affected the rectory, but we managed the living room to do the service. I do appealing to the state government and well meaning people to help us build a new church as a new foundation will be laid because everything has collapsed.
Mrs. Olusegun Modupe Florence, a victim and widow, whose bungalow was also affected by the storm, said: “I thank God for not allowing the storm to take my life and the lives of my family members. I am a widow and I live with my children. I was outside the house that evening around 5pm washing clothes, there were no clouds at all but when it started to rain my children and I walked in in the House. At exactly 5:00 p.m., I noticed that there was a strong wind blowing in the middle of the rain, and I began to pray, “Lord, please help me. Have mercy on me, this house must not collapse on me.
“All this time I was next to the window in the living room but the spirit of God told me to leave the living room and immediately I left the living room, the storm took away the rafters and the roofs of the house causing the walls of this living room place to fall to the ground and to my surprise, it was this very place where I was standing before.
“Apart from the roofs that were blown away, some of my belongings were also damaged, including the TV, other electrical appliances as well as clothes, among others.
“Since that day, my family members and I have been sleeping in a neighbour’s house. I call on the government of Ekiti State to help me.
For his part, an 84-year-old widower, Mr. Sanya Aregbe, said: “The rain started that evening and the big storm also followed. The storm was so strong that the locked doors of the house were forced open. My only wife is late and yesterday (Saturday) marked the 30th day of its release. My children, younger siblings and family members have since stay with me so i’m not the only one here.
“This house had five bedrooms and a living room. It was raining so much and the storm was very strong that it took the whole roof off my house. We looked up and saw the sky directly. I wept bitterly. Nobody could get out, we stayed inside in the rain. The television set here was destroyed by boards falling on it. My files containing my documents, I did not know that the wind had carried them away in the deluge. It was the next morning that I saw them, soaked and torn. My belongings were all damaged and others soaked in water.
“Since the incident, I have been sleeping at night at my son’s house, a few kilometers from here, and I come back here the next day to see if I can get help. Just as you came now, you can see me because I am here. I am appealing to our governor, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi to please help me, I am an elderly widower. May God help him too.
Recounting her ordeal, Mrs. Modupe Agbetuyi, victim and widow, said: “ The owner of this two-story building (large house) is late and I am his daughter and widow. On Thursday, March 31, between 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m., my kids and I and a few other family members were downstairs, and some were in the kitchen. While it was raining, there was also a whirlwind. I saw tall trees on the other side of the house tilting and moving from side to side. I told my son that the storm was violent and that we should start praying for calm. A few minutes later I heard a noise from the back of the house, the storm had blown the roof off the front story building (our apartment) and landed it on the back bungalow and had also destroyed other roofs of other buildings here. We thank God that no one died and no one was injured.
“So much of our belongings and those of other tenants were destroyed. You can see our soaked mattresses, furniture, carpets, clothes and other things outside, we dry them. Our televisions and other electrical appliances were destroyed.
“My children, other family members and I are now managing in a vacant room on the ground floor and the other affected tenants are sleeping elsewhere at night and returning here in the morning. I call on the government of Ekiti State to help us.
Commenting on the sad development, Hon. Ayeni Samuel, the councilor representing Ward 10 of Orun -Ekiti in Ise/Orun Local Government Area, said, “On Thursday, March 31, there was a big disaster in Ise/Orun Local Government Area. Ise/Orun in two communities – Ise -Ekiti and Orun-Ékiti.This incident occurred due to heavy downpours and strong winds which affected hundreds of buildings in Ise/Orun LGA, destroying properties of worth millions of naira and rendering many people homeless. We thank God that there was no loss of life. A church building was totally demolished, a mosque, houses, shops and observation centers were destroyed.
“The utility poles were also hit causing power outage in the two communities that make up Ise/Orun LGA. We thank the officials of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) who came the next morning to ensure that they removed all the cables from the roads to avoid losses.
“According to history, such an incident was observed in 1986 and was not as bad as this one.
“I call on Governor Fayemi to come to the aid of these victims.”
Chairman of the Ekiti State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Captain Sunday Adebomi (Retired), from Ise-Ekiti, said: “There was a rain storm on Thursday March 31. Around 5pm we started getting distress calls that the roofs of so many houses had been blown off by the heavy rain storm and it was quite unfortunate and we immediately deployed our SEMA and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) from Ado-Ekiti for an on-site assessment of the situation and it was so pathetic.
“We visited the two kings of the communities, the Arinjale of Ise-Ekiti and the Olowuro of Orun-Ekiti. According to the chiefs, for more than 20 years, we have never experienced such a calamity in Ise/Orun. It’s so serious we just tried to publish our reports and see how the government is going to intervene in people’s lives because it’s very important and I’m sure the government will have sympathy and do something to help them.