Torrential rains accompanied by heavy storms left several families homeless in Nyor Diaplay Town, in the Buu-Yao Administrative District, near the Liberian/Ivorian border in Nimba County. The town is the largest of the seven towns in the Nyor belt, with a population estimated at over 2,000.
The incident, which took place on Thursday, January 18 at about 11 p.m., destroyed 15 houses and swept away corrugated iron roofing sheets.
One of the schools in the community was hard hit, leaving the principal’s office and the library roofless.
Peter Gbahnzo, Nyor-Diaplay Town Chief, told the Daily Observer that those whose properties were destroyed by the storm are currently sleeping in public buildings, while some are lodged in the churches or with friends and relatives.
“Many of the victims have moved to their villages for shelter,” Chief Gbahnzo told this newspaper.
Up to press time last night, Chief Gbahnzo’s subjects were finding it very difficult, if not impossible, to cope with the situation, and therefore want speedy attention from the government and her partners.
Several properties including valuable personal belongings and other household items were destroyed, while items like clothes, mattresses, books, etc. are being exposed to the sun.
Gibson Dearlee, a resident, said: “The storm blew away the roof of my house, so currently my family and I are sleeping on the farm, because we don’t have anywhere to seek refuge in the town.”
Pointing at some of the damaged properties, he added: “See out there, all our personal belongings are soaked with rain water, while my children’s copybooks and uniforms have remained trapped under the fallen wall.”
Dearlee heads a 12-member family that lived with him in the four-room house. He said it will be very difficult for him to rebuild his house without any immediate external help.
He is meanwhile appealing to the authorities of the Liberian National Red Cross Society and the country’s Disaster Relief Unit at the Ministry of Internal Affairs to come to the aid of those affected by the storm.
Most of the damaged houses were built with sun dried bricks; something that needs urgent and immediate renovation, before the coming of the rainy season, or else the remaining walls will collapse.
“I lost my 20 bags of rice and my electronic set in the warehouse when the storm swept away the roof of my house,” said one of the victims.
Despite the large scale destruction, there was no casualty reported, the town chief has said.
“The storm occurred while many of the victims were already in bed, but we thank God that nobody got injured,” the chief added.
The storm victims are all in need of government intervention so that they can reestablish their lives said the chief.