From Felix Ikem, Nsukka
It was indeed a dreadful night for the entire community of University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) following massive destruction caused by wind storm in the institution recently.
Daily Sun gathered that the incident which happened on June 3, 2018 left the affected astonished and confused before the intervention of the university authorities.
When our reporter visited the university to see the extent of the damage, it was indeed a tale of woes given the level of losses recorded in the huge destruction. No fewer than 60 students had their books, clothes, electronic devices and other personal effects damaged by the rain.
The porter in charge of Okpara hostel, one of the places heavily affected by the natural disaster, Mrs. Nwamaka Ezea explained to Daily Sun that they were overwhelmed by the damage caused by the storm.
“We were sleeping around 12am when we heard a heavy sound on the roof and the students were shouting and running helter-skelter. We saw that some roofing was already blown off and rain was falling on them and their belongings. We called the security and the Dean who rushed down immediately.”
Asked how many rooms were affected, Ezea said that “about fifteen rooms housing about sixty students were affected.”
On the extent of the damage to the students, she said “their clothes, books, laptops, phones and some other valuable items were damaged by the wind storm. It was indeed a terrible experience.”
The Dean of Students’ Affairs, Prof. Sabinus Ofoefuna, who also spoke to our reporter, further explained how they were able to avoid more drastic outcomes from the incident by switching off electricity supply to the whole female hostels section of the university.
“After the rain started, my phone rang and I saw that it was the hostel governor that called me. She told me what happened and I quickly asked the security man attached to my residence to join me. As we came out with my vehicle, all the roads near my house around school stadium were already blocked by fallen trees. We had to go and navigate through the engineering department, I saw other places blocked and we went through the ICT to this place. When I got there, I saw that some students were outside their rooms and I saw water everywhere. I saw the central part of the roofing blown off by the wind storm. The first thing we did was to switch off the light in all the female hostels because we knew that once the water touches the cable, it will be very dangerous.”
Narrating further, Prof. Ofoefuna said that “the following morning, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba came to the students and addressed them, assuring them of the plans to handle the situation. The same morning, I relocated the affected students to other hostels.”
The dean disclosed that situation was going to be rectified immediately following a directive by the Vice Chancellor to the works department for “immediate repair of all those affected places.”
One of the affected students who spoke to our reporter on condition of anonymity said that some of her clothes, books and other belongings were damaged but expressed happiness over the timely intervention of the school authorities.
A visit to the affected hostels of Eni Njoku, Okpara and Eyo Ita, saw some of the affected students display their items outside foe drying under the sun.
Confirming the incident, the Public Relations Officer of the university, Dr Okwun Omeaku told Daily Sun that they were overwhelmed by the damage caused by the wind storm and was grateful to God that no life was lost in the ugly incident.
He could not however, quantify the cost implication of the damage.