A seven-year-old girl was been feared dead, while three were declared missing following the flood caused by Cross River, which overflowed its bank and swept away the community of Umon Island in Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State.
Two persons, it was gathered, are now receiving treatment in hospital. Among those receiving treatment at the community Health Centre, in Umon, who narrowly escaped death when their houses collapsed on them are a 53-year-old woman and a 78 years old man, who were rescued by the community vigilante group.
The corpses of the missing children feared drowned in the flood when their houses collapsed and were apparently washed into the river, were yet to be recovered despite efforts by the village divers, searching the river.
The family of the deceased girl, who had already been buried was still in shock, as the mother was seen mourning at the grave side, yesterday. At press time, over 40 houses had been destroyed while no fewer than 1,500 people had been displaced and squatting in the primary school and other places.
Over 70 percent of the village with a population of 6,000 is flooded and movement between houses is now done either by wading through water, which is at waist level or in canoes.
A community leader, Elder Okon Aniyom, said: “The flood is not showing any sign of abating and we are afraid of what next would happen should the water increase from its current level.” He recalled that such catastrophe had occurred twice in his lifetime, in 1971 and 1991, but that the magnitude could never be compared with what had just happened.
Assessing the disaster, Director General, Cross River State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Mr. Vincent Aquah, described the incident as pathetic, attributing the flood to the global climate change.