Windstorm Destroys 100 Houses In Jigawa

  • PublishedMay 8, 2018

Over 100 houses and property worth millions of naira were destroyed by a windstorm which ravaged some communities in Dutse Local Government Area of Jigawa.

Two village heads, Ado Musa and Baffa Shehu, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Dutse on Tuesday that the windstorm, which occurred on May 3, wreaked considerable havoc on the neighbourhoods.

Mr Musa, who is the village head of Warwade community, said that the windstorm destroyed about 27 houses in Sayasaya, a village under Warwade, and blew off the roofs of some schools and mosques.

He added that the windstorm had rendered about 30 families homeless, while destroying several local silos containing assorted foodstuff.

“Each year, we experience cyclone, windstorm or rainstorm at the beginning, middle or end of every rainy season but the storms have not been as damaging as the recent one.

“This time around, the windstorm is so heavy that it completely brought down some houses and blew up roofs of schools, mosques and clinics.

“Over 20 villages are affected by the disaster but the worst-hit is Sayasaya where between 30 and 35 households are affected.

“‘No death was recorded in the incident; however, seven persons were injured by roofing sheets that were blown off by the wind.

“Some of the victims had multiple fractures in different parts of their bodies and were taken to Dutse General Hospital for treatment.

“At least, the value of what the people lost in Sayasaya is about N5 million and some of the affected families are currently taking refuge in the village primary school,’’ he said.

Also speaking, Shehu, the village head of Jidawa community, said that the windstorm destroyed over 80 houses in his domain.

He said that the windstorm which lasted for close to an hour, destroyed several fences and blew off the roofs of houses, schools, mosques and a clinic.

“The rainstorm began around 5.30 p.m. and lasted for about an hour.

“At least, 80 houses were affected and we thank God it did not injure or kill anyone here but it caused a lot of damage in Sayasaya and Warwade villages that are close to us.

“The windstorm could have destroyed the whole area if it continued for more than an hour; in fact we have never experienced such a severe windstorm before.

“It was accompanied by heavy rainfall and we started planting crops the following day because of the level of rainfall the previous day,’’ Mr Shehu said.

A NAN correspondent, who visited the two villages, reports that the storm pulled down the roofs of several houses, forcing many families to vacate their homes.

Several fences were also affected, thereby exposing the belongings of the affected households.

Some of the affected residents, who look visibly devastated, told NAN that they needed urgent assistance, in terms of shelter and food aid.

In Jidawa village, Garba Adamu and Kawu Yakubu expressed concern about problems the residents would face following the impact of the rainstorm.

They said that the entire area had been thrown into confusion as a result of the damage done to the residents’ properties.

“Most of the houses suffer from one dent or the other, no matter how little it was. As you can see, some roofs were blown off, while some fences were completely brought down,’’ Adamu said.

In Sayasaya village, Ali Beza, the head of a household, said: “We slept outside that day, as the wind blew and pulled down the roof of our house.

“Up to this moment, we have never been able to sleep comfortably; this is a large family house as you can see.

“We are 19 in the house: my family and the families of three of my children.’’

Ibrahim Danjuma, another resident of Sayasaya village, said: “My two-year-old child was almost killed as the roof the building fell on him; three of my rooms as well as the silos containing foodstuff and one sheep were destroyed.

“Many people have vacated their homes due to the level of destruction caused by the windstorm because we cannot live in houses without roofs.

“‘In fact, we learnt that many households in neighbouring villages were similarly affected but we are happy no single death was recorded during the incident.’’

Salisu Jigo, another resident, said that his wife and son were injured in the incident.

“As you can see, the roof was pulled down and the debris injured my wife and my son; I also got injured while trying to put out the fire caused by the windstorm and stop it from escalating and consuming the whole house.

“But we thank God, we only had minor injuries and cuts; we did not have fractures,’’ he added.

Mr Jigo said that the affected families and other residents were calling for assistance from relevant government agencies.

“Government and other relevant authorities should immediately come to our aid, particularly in the area of shelter and food.

“This is because most of us have no place to stay again; we also have no food to eat, as most of our silos containing foodstuff have been destroyed,’’ he said.

However, Musa, the village head of Warwade, said that he had compiled a comprehensive list of the victims of the windstorm and had submitted it to the District Head of Dutse.

He added that the village head of Jidawa stated that he was still compiling the list of those affected in his domain.

“Due to the current economic situation, the government and other relevant authorities should expedite action to assist these villagers because they urgently need assistance, particularly food and shelter,’’ Mr Musa said.

When contacted, Sani Yusuf, the Executive Secretary, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), confirmed the incident.

“I am sending my staff right now to conduct an assessment of the level of damage caused by the windstorm.

“We would have intervened since but there have been some delays but I assure you that within a couple of days, we will surely assist them,’’ he said.

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