35 killed, 200 houses destroyed in Jos flood
Jos — Tragedy struck in Jos, Plateau State capital, Sunday night, when a rampaging flood swallowed over 35 people and also destroyed more than 200 houses. A 90-year-old woman and a three-month-old baby were among the victims while more than 15 people have also been declared missing.
Heavy rainfall was reported to have forced a dam to overflow causing flooding which submerged several houses, rendering many people homeless.
Rubble of some of the houses after the flood. Photo Taye obateru
Areas most affected were parts of Rukuba Road, Angwan Rogo, Angwan Rukuba, Rikkos, Gangare and Farin Gada, among others. By yesterday morning, about three cars were seen submerged in water below the Farin Gada bridge.
The torrential rain which started in the evening on Sunday continued till past midnight making many rivers to overflow their banks.
The head of the Red Cross in the state, Manasie Phampe, said: “We have recovered the bodies of 35 people that drowned in the overnight flooding. About 200 homes have either been submerged or destroyed. Rainwater and water from the Lamingo dam which overflowed swept across several neighbourhoods in the city. We are still searching for more bodies as many people have been declared missing.”
He confirmed that the victims so far included a 90-year-old woman and a three-month-old baby, adding that the toll could rise.
An official with National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) based in Jos, Mr. Edward Maigida, said his staff were still trying to compile a list of those missing or killed.
A community leader in Rikkos, Alhaji Abubakar Mahmud confirmed to journalists that about 14 bodies were recovered yesterday morning and were being prepared for burial. He also said that houses and other property were destroyed in the disaster.
Already, NEMA in the state has deployed a rescue team to search for missing persons in the affected areas.
NEMA’s Director of Relief and Rehabilitation Maigida told journalists yesterday that three camps for displaced persons had been set up by the agency, adding that a census was on to determine the relief materials to be taken to each camp.
Some residents spoken to said several highways were flooded making them impassable and forcing many motorists to remain in the rain until it subsided.
A lecturer in the University of Jos said he got home late as he could not drive through the water which he said entered his car at a point.
I am still searching for my wife, 2 children — victim
Meanwhile, Mr Adam Ahmad, a victim of the flood said that he was still searching for his wife and two children.
“I am not sure they (wife and children) are still alive; but I can only say that I am still searching for them,” a visibly shaken Ahmad told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos.
Ahmad said: “We were sleeping when we heard water rushing into the house and before we realised what was happening, the whole place became like a stream.
“I immediately rushed to where my children were sleeping but did not see them; the whole place was taken over by water with a high speed current sweeping all around me.
“I was confused and rushed to where my wife was, but before I could enter her room, the entire house collapsed. It is a miracle that I escaped because the water almost consumed me. It got to my neck before I rushed out of the building.
“The building is lying over there,” he said, pointing to the debris of what used to be his house. Ahmad, who could not hold back tears, said that life was not worth living without his family.