Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Many residents of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, have been thrown into utter misery and confusion as heavy rain accompanied by ferocious thunderstorm mid-day Monday wreaked havoc in some parts of the city damaging properties running into millions of naira.
Many motorists watched helplessly as their vehicles were destroyed by falling trees during the thunderstorm.
Occupants of the cars escaped death narrowly after leaving their vehicles moments before the trees fell on them.
Some major roads were blocked by the fallen trees, resulting in a very heavy traffic gridlock in many parts of the city.
Many billboards, electric poles and roofs of buildings were also blown off by the thunderstorm.
At the Port Harcourt Polytechnic in Rumuola, the school authority had to hurriedly suspend semester examinations midway as roofs of lecture halls were destroyed, while trees fell on parked cars in school causing panic, but no life was lost.
The rain resulted in most parts of the city being cut off from public power supply.
Meanwhile, the Rector of the Port Harcourt Polytechnic, Dr Samuel Kalagbor, has announced the suspension of academic activities in the school as result of the havoc caused by the heavy rainfall.
The Rector noted that the thunderstorm that blew off the roofs of virtually all the buildings in the school.
The Rector said that he had issued an order for the suspension of the first semester examination which was in progress when the disaster occurred to protect the lives and property of the school.
“We have written to the Commissioner for Education about the disaster for him to have on the spot assessment of the situation,” said the Rector.
The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company Spokesman, John Onyi, has also acknowledged the damage to electric poles within the Rumuola and Rumuokuta axis where the Polytechnic is located and appealed to electricity consumers to bear with the company as efforts to clears the faults and restore electricity supply are ongoing.