At least three persons died and no fewer than 632 houses destroyed by storms between January and June this year in Cross River, an official has said.
The Director General of Cross River State Emergency Management Agenc, Mr John Inaku, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar on Tuesday that the windstorm resulted from the heavy rains in most communities in the state.
“Between January and June this year, no fewer than 632 houses were destroyed by windstorm while also killing three persons.
“Windstorm has ravaged so many communities to such a magnitude that the state government alone cannot even handle it.
“It now desires the attention of the Federal Government, the Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation, National Emergency Management Agency and others.
“We have written to them, but as we speak, we have not heard anything from them this year after several appeals,’’ Inaku said.
He said that he had been to the affected communities to assess the level of damage with a view to assisting the victims.
“Gov. Ben Ayade is passionate about the wellbeing of the people of Cross River; he has asked me to do the total costing of what it will take to care for all the victims.
“He has released the first set of relief materials and as we speak, another two trucks are on ground with relief materials for the victims.
“I wish to appeal to the victims who have not gotten any relief materials to be patient. We will definitely reach them,’’ he said.
He further said that the windstorm was partly caused by over deforestation, especially in Bansan community in Boki Local Government Area where more than 322 houses were destroyed in May.
“There has been much timber logging in that area such that all the economic trees have been brought down for business purposes.
“The state forestry commission has advised the residents to stop the cutting of trees but to no avail.
“Even when they cut down the trees, there is no re-planting of new ones,’’ he lamented. (NAN)