More than 250 houses including churches and school buildings were destroyed in Owo, Ondo State, as the community witnessed the first rain of the year on Monday night January 21, 2013.
Also affected was a section of the palace of the Olowo of Owo, Oba Folagbade Olateru-Olagbegi. Several people including a cleric, members of his family and aides were rendered homeless by the rain which was accompanied by thunder storm and did not last more than 45 minutes. Items yet to be estimated including electricity poles, household goods and vehicles.
The rainstorm started at 8.30pm. The roofs of the Methodist High School, St Catherine Anglican Grammar School and St Louis Hospital were completely blown off. In all the affected areas, damaged electric cables and poles littered the streets.
Blown off roofs were scattered all over the places like Uka, Oke Ogun and Fajuyi. Commercial activities were also affected on major streets like Oke-Ogun, Iloro, Ehin-Ogbe, Uka. Speaking during inspection of the affected areas, Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Niran Sule-Akinsuyi, lamented the extent of damage caused by the storm.
He called on relevant authorities and agencies of government to come to the aid of the affected people as many of them had been rendered homeless. Daily Sun visited some of the affected areas. Victims of the storm were busy moving out their personal belongings from the ravaged buildings. Bishop of Owo Methodist Church, Rev. Solomon Adegbite, said the vicar of the church, Presbyter Marcus Ogungbade, was hit on the head by a falling iron sheets and had to be rushed to the hospital as he reportedly slumped. The church building, over 100 years old was badly damaged. Its ceilings and electrical appliances were affected.
The mission house had its roof completely blown off. Principal of St Catherine Secondary school, Mrs. Yinka Aruwajoye, explained that the storm affected parts of the girls’ hostel, science laboratory and the multipurpose hall.
An indigene of the town and chieftain of Labour Party, Chief Remi Okurinboye, whose cocoa store was badly damaged, described the incident as devastating saying that the city never witnessed such an incident.
The state chapter of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), sent its officials to the town to assess the extent of damage and assist the victims.
Deputy governor Ali Olanusi, equally led officials of the state government sent its officials to the town to assess the extent of damage and assist the victims. Deputy governor Ali Olanusi, equally led officials of the state government to the town to commiserate with the monarch during which he promised a quick response to the incident.