7 feared dead as rainstorm wreaks havoc in Onitsha

Seven persons were feared dead and
goods worth millions of naira destroyed in the
commercial city of Onitsha during a down pour.
Those who died included two men said to be
driving in a Toyota Camry car towards Asaba in
Delta State, as well as a Keke NAPEP operator
and his passengers. A crane was used to recover
the Toyota car and the two occupants.
The identities of the victims have not been
established, but they were said to be carried by
the ravaging flood at the slum area of Okpoko
junction, near the Upper Iweka road in Onitsha.
Two other corpses were also seen at a spot near
the Kate bus stop in the area.
It was gathered that corpses of the occupants of
the Camry car were recovered yesterday, but
the Keke NAPEP operator and his passengers
were yet to be found, though the tricycle had
been recovered.
Mostly affected were the Onitsha Electronics
International Market and Enamelware Market
which are adjacent the Head Bridge-Upper Iweka
expressway on the Okpoko end of the road
where many warehouses were submerged.
Traders at the market were seen salvaging their
goods washed away by the flood yesterday with
some of them claiming that everything they had
in their shops went with the flood.
The Public Relations Officer of the traders’
association, Mr. Innocent Ezemenari, said it was
difficult to quantify the loss immediately, even
as he said that it ran into millions of Naira.
According to him, most of the people affected
were young traders who had just been settled by
their masters, while others were those who got
their goods on credit.
While calling on President Goodluck Jonathan,
Governor Peter Obi and people of goodwill to
come to their aid Ezemenari urged the Federal
Ministry of Works to extend the drainage system
along the Upper Iweka-Head Bridge axis to the
River Niger to allow free flow of water during the
rain.
The traders’ spokesman observed that if urgent
measures were not taken, the entire market
would be sacked when the rains become heavy.
He appealed to Anambra State government to
speed up work on the on-going Sakamori
drainage project which is costing the state and
federal governments about N2 billion.

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