At least 50 residential and school buildings have been destroyed in a heavy windstorm that struck Aguleri, home town of Anambra State Governor Willie Obiano.
Up to 2,000 students are left stranded in the wake of destruction at two schools in the community on Saturday night which’s left residents in shock and confusion.
Correspondents visiting the community report that a camp for displaced people at Father Joseph Memorial High School, with more than 10 buildings, was damaged.
Students returning from Easter break met their hostels and classrooms struck down.
Chidera Udo and Akachukwhu Atupulazi, two students of the school, said, “We were in the hostel when the breeze started. It was pushing our doors and started taking the roofs. We were all scared.”
The principal of the school, Rev Father Anthony Okoye, said the windstorm destroyed several buildings including the refectory, teachers quarters classroom blocks, and hostels, leaving more than two thousand students stranded.
”I have never seen such a devastating incident, almost all the buildings in the school were affected. We are really calling on the government, National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA), State Emergency Management Authority (SEMA) and Churches to come to our aid. The students will soon start exams and there are not enough classrooms for them now,” he said.
One of the old boys of the school, Mike Meze, said, “We are really confused, we had a plan that before the end of this year, we will build a big structure here that will also have sickbay, but look at this now, in fact, the government must act fast to rescue them.”
Also, at Justice Chinwuba Memorial Secondary School, Aguleri, the windstorm blew off roofs thereby forcing students to study under trees.
The principal of the school, Emmanuel Anerobi, said, “We are in need now. Look at our classroom block, I told the contractor when he was roofing this structure that he was using substandard materials, now see it, the windstorm has carried it away.”
A board member in charge of Post Primary School Service Commission, Otuocha Zone, Joe Enemou and the Zonal Director of the commission in the area, Ogochukwu Obi who were on the ground to inspect the level of damage done to the schools described the incident as colossal, stating that only the federal and state governments can be able to handle the level of devastations.
The windstorm also affected private buildings and shops, causing untold hardship to the people who are predominantly farmers.
Chukwudi Onyejekwe, one of the representatives of the Executive Secretary in the state, Paul Odenigbo, said, “This is the biggest holding camp we have in the state for flood victims, even the blocks we use to camp them, everything was destroyed.”
Speaking with newsmen after a joint assessment of the windstorm damage with SEMA, the Zonal Coordinator of NEMA Enugu, Major Eze said an official report would be sent to the federal government for urgent intervention to the affected victims even as he expressed shock over the level of destruction.