NATIONAL Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) have jointly carried out physical assessment of recent windstorm menace in Aguleri, Anambra East LGA.
The exercise was as a result of the rainstorm which destroyed not less than 100 buildings at Aguleri, on Monday night. The structures which include residential houses and schools were mostly located at one of the Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDPs’) camps at Father Joseph Memorial High School, Aguleri.
The South East Zonal Coordinator, NEMA, Major Eze, who noted that the aim of the assessment was to enable them take appropriate decisions on reports after alerting the headquarters of the windstorm, described the incident as a surprise and sad one, but expressed gratitude to God that no child was hurt.
He emphasised that the agencies would process the assessment, transmit to headquarters, which would lead them to the appropriate decisions on how best to tackle the situation.
Executive Secretary, SEMA, Chief Paul Odenigbo, who was represented by Mr Chukwudi Onyejekwu, noted that the event was a pathetic and painful situation both to the state, the school’s management and residents of houses also affected by the windstorm.
According to him, Fr. Joseph Memorial School, Aguleri, also serves as one of the biggest holding centres in Anambra and possibly in the South East.
“The school has been a big partner to us, especially in terms of flood management; it houses internally displaced persons in the state and blocks we normally use was not spared by the wind storm.”
Odenigbo, while noting that SEMA had always collaborated with NEMA in carrying out joint assessments said that they would also send in their own reports to the state government for intervention.
“We earnestly hope that NEMA will look at the peculiarity of this disaster and come to aid the state and the affected persons,” he said.
Fr. Okoye noted that no fewer than 2,000 students who just returned from Easter break and were about to commence their examination in a few weeks’ time were now all displaced.
“We are happy that we did not record any human casualties as the students were already inside the hostel when the incident happened,” he added.
Some of the students while stressing that they were in the hostel when the wind started which was then accompanied by lightning, noted that they were all scared at the time of the incident.