By Francis Sardauna in Katsina
No fewer than 25 persons were reportedly killed, 90 houses destroyed, over 260 livestock confirmed dead, several people declared missing and properties worth millions of naira were destroyed, as flood wreak havoc in 10 communities of Jibia Local Government area of Katsina State Monday morning.
Some of the communities badly affected by the flood are Kwata, Dantudu, Sabuwar, Tukare, Tsohuwar Tukare, Ungwar Mai Kwari.
The downpour, which started around 11pm Sunday and stopped by 1am Monday, caused river channels in the affected villages to overflow their banks resulting in the loss of lives and sweeping away several vehicles, motorcycles and farmlands.
The natural disaster also sacked many residents from their homes and shops when their apartments were invaded, thereby rendering thousands homeless.
THISDAY gathered on Monday that three out of the 25 persons killed, included a food vendor and her two children, whose container shop was swept away by the flood around Sabuwar Mosque area of Jibia.
An eyewitness told THISDAY that the food vendor, Halima Zubairu Jibia, and her two sons were hiding inside the container when the downpour started and were later trapped in the shop.
But the District Head of Jibia, Alhaji Rabe Rabi’u, who confirmed the development to THISDAY on Monday in a telephone interview while on an assessment tour of the affected areas, described the development as â€œhighly devastatingâ€.
â€œAs I speak to you, we have discovered the corpse of 25 persons including mothers and children and many are missing. Over 260 cows, sheep and goats were killed by the flood. The heavy rainfall started around 11 pm on Sunday night and stopped by 1am Monday,â€ he said.
The district head, however, called on the federal and state governments to come to their aid, considering the devastating nature of the flood, stressing that: â€œIt is only government that can assist us because the situation is beyond our financial strengths.â€
On his part, the Information Officer in charge of the local government, Sa’ad Suleiman, said the situation was aggravated by those building structures on water channels and dumping of refuse in drains.
Suleiman said that the state government had earlier embarked on dredging of rivers, canals and clearing of drains, urging residents of the state to inculcate the habit of disposing their refuse properly and desist from dumping refuse indiscriminately.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Dr. Aminu Waziri, who could not ascertain the number of deaths as of press time, said the agency’s officers were moving to the affected communities in order to ascertain the casualties and houses affected for onward transmission to government for intervention.
However, as at the time of filing this report, residents were said to be salvaging their personal effects from their homes while some were packing out of the affected areas.
THISDAY reports that the Nigeria Meteorological Agency ( NiMet) had in its forecast earlier in the year, listed Katsina as one of the states that would experience heavy downpour.