Liberia: Five Injured, Hundreds Homeless after Violent thunder Ravages Zota District in Bong County
Gbarlatuah, Zota District – Zota District, Bong County – Five people sustained injuries in Gbarlatuah, Zota District last week when a hailstorm razed their homes. Also, more than one thousand people in the town were left homeless after torrential rains swept their houses.
A walk through Gbarlatuah town brings to the fore grim sights of huge trees uprooted and felled on the ground.
The heavy rains combined with hailstorm started at 10PM and last less than hour. The storm destroyed a church and clinic in the area. Jerry Tarpah, a resident of the town, is currently sheltering with his family of four
in a nearby school as his house collapsed and two of his children were injured.
Tarpah narrated that the rains started when he was having supper with his family. “It blew off iron sheets from the bedroom pushing towards the living room. This gave us chance to run but the two children who were injured were asleep and had not joined us for supper. “That’s why they were hit by the collapsing wall,” he said.
Rhoda Kollie, also a resident of the town, said her family slept out after the storm blew off their roof. “In the morning we had to look for our beddings by the wind and put them under the sunshine so that they can dry. We will shelter with relatives until we repair our house,” she said.
Fifty-year-old John Markor, another victim of the storm and a resident of the town, said he and many other villagers were taken by surprise by the storm that razed houses and crops.
“I was inside the house with my children four children when the storm blew and shook the building to its roots. The roof flew off and walls collapsed on us,” he said. Markor, 55, said he and his family remained homeless after the incident violent
Janet Cooper, another victim, shed tears when the rain destroyed her banana plantation, leaving her with nothing to feed her children.
Victor Wesseh, head of the National Disaster Management Agency of Liberia in Bong County, named four areas that were ravaged by heavy rains as Gbartala in Yellequelleh, Robert Factory Community in Gbarnga, Suakoko District and Gbarlatuah.
He said that roofs of 1000 houses were completely blown off by the hailstorm, crops of 387 households were destroyed on an estimate of 233.2 acres of land.
Wesseh said the record after the assessment shows that five people were injured, adding that one person broke his leg but no death was reported.
Wesseh attributed the catastrophe to massive cutting down of trees to burn bricks. “There is completely nothing that can stop even little wind from damaging properties and we are still scared it will do more damage in case it comes back,” he added.