The anticipation of expecting the first rains of the year, after months of harsh and dry weather, turned sour for the locals in Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State, on Wednesday, as heavy rainstorm wreaked havoc in the community.
No fewer than 200 buildings were destroyed as a result of the rain, while hundreds of residents have been rendered homeless, with properties worth millions of naira destroyed.
Daily Times correspondent, who later visited the community, reported that the rainstorm, in its gale of destruction, swept through Iju and Itaogbolu communities of the local government.
Many of the buildings were seen without roofs, while victims of the storm were busy moving out their personal belongings from ravaged buildings.
Private and public school buildings in the communities were not spared in the damage, while a health centre, located in Iju, was badly affected by the rain.
Several residents told Daily Times that the incident was a calamity of major proportion and lamented that the natural disaster occurred during a period when most residents in the communities were experiencing one or another form of hardship.
They appealed to the government for urgent help. “We appeal to Governor Olusegun Mimiko to quickly come to our aid, as the rainstorm has rendered us homeless,” one of them said.
Mr. Isaac Oke, a vice principal at the Elu-Iju Grammar School, whose school was badly damaged, also called on the state government to urgently come to the aids of the communities, while describing the incident as ‘unfortunate’.
“The incident was quite unfortunate, but we thank God that the storm came at night, when schools were not in session…it could have been a great disaster and bad omen for the communities and the state at large,” Oke said.
Meanwhile, the member representing Akure North Constituency in the state House of Assembly, Akindele Adeniyi, has visited the scene, with an assurance that government would come to their aid.
Also, the Caretaker Chairman of the local government, Mr. Olu Aderuku, has begun the process of providing relief materials to the displaced residents, with a promise to ascertain the estimate of damages for the state government.