*Police caution against driving through floods•
BY NNAMDI OSELOKA in Awka•
In anticipation of a flood disaster, the Anambra State government said it has establishment no fewer than 28 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) centres for those who may be displaced by the rising cases of flooding of private homes and communities witnessed in the last one week of heavy rains.
The centres that are mainly schools, medical facilities, Church premises and Council headquarters were meant to provide temporary shelters for displaced people in flood-prone areas.
The flooding, which was as a result of excessive downpour from four days of hours of torrential rains, has recorded some casualties when bridges, roads, homes offices and market areas were submerged in parts of the state.
So far, the worst hit were Umuoduba village of Ideani in Idemili North council, Awka, Nibo, Isiagu, Okpuno and Mgbakwu all in Awka North and South council areas of the state where citizens have lost their homes, farmlands, farms, cash crops and economic trees, shrines and graves.
The establishment of the IDPs, our correspondent gathered, was informed by the earlier predictions by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency that heavy rainfall is expected and would equally be accompanied by flooding in some parts of the state. No fewer than 14 councils of the state were listed as high prone areas.
They included Aguata, Anambra-East and West, Njikoka, Idemili North, Ogbaru, Anaocha, Ayamelum, Dunukofia, Orumba-North and Onitsha-North and and Onitsha South.
A statement by the Anambra government stated that the centres would be in eight local government areas of Ayamelum, Anambra East, Ogbaru, Onitsha South, Onitsha North, Awka North, Ihiala and Ekwusigo.
Meanwhile, the state Police Command in a statement on Friday asked motorists driving through the state to take extra precautionary measures while driving in flooded areas.
The command’s Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Haruna Mohammed, in the statement, which was given to journalists, said the warning became necessary following recent cases of loss of lives and property by road users during downpours that flooded many parts of the state. He therefore urged residents to safeguard themselves in such situations.
While commiserating with the families of such victims, the command called for extra personal measures to protect one’s life, property and his passengers.
According to Haruna, “Recall that on the 25/7/2018 at about 0900hrs, the command received a distress call that one milk colour Peugeot 504 saloon car with four occupants was washed away by downpour and submerged in a flood along Nise Road by City Landmark Hotel Amawbia.
“Following the report, police patrol team attached to Central Police Station Awka rushed to the scene on rescue operations and with the assistance of the community three male occupants of the vehicle were rescued alive while a girl of about thirteen years old was said to be washed away by the flood inside the car.
“Preliminary investigation so far revealed the identities of the three surviving victims as Elder Ejike Anadebe, Ogu Ebuka and, Emmanuel Samuel all of Zion Pillar Church Adabebe in Amawbia.
“The vehicle was recovered and one Ebube Samuel female, aged thirteen years of the same address was found inside the car and rushed to the hospital where she was confirmed dead by a medical doctors.
“The Commissioner of Police, Anambra State Command, Garba Baba Umar has commiserated with the victims’ family on behalf of the State Command and urged other road users to take extra precautions to secure their lives first whenever they are faced with similar situation due to heavy downpour (sic) the state is experiencing of recent.”