Storm Kills One and Renders Several Homeless

LOGAN TOWN, Montserrado – David Portee Nah, aged 68 and a former resident of Gbe Town in Logan Town on Bushrod Island, was killed on Saturday, March 4 after heavy storms swept across Monrovia destroying several structures, and rendering several homeless in its wake.

Nah, an occupant of a five bedroom makeshift structure, was fast asleep when the storm blew past his house and caused a nearby tree to fall on his rooftop.

Titus P. Fanciah, one of five occupants of the makeshift structure, recalled that when the storm started at midnight, he and the deceased were the only two occupants in the house.

Fanciah further explained that as the storm gained momentum, the electricity supply was cut off and moments afterward, he heard creaking sounds. It later occurred to him that the nearby mango tree had fallen on the home of the deceased.

A damaged home. Photo: Zeze Ballah

A damaged home. Photo: Zeze Ballah

After calling for help, Fanciah said those who came to the rescue brought along with them machetes but those were not enough to help, as the fallen tree was large and difficult to cut with machetes.

“There was no one around to help me rescue Nah, and so I started shouting, which drew the attention of our neighbors and other community dwellers,” he said.

“It was only by the grace of God that I am alive today because the entire house was destroyed by the tree,” Fanciah added.

As Fanciah and neighbors tried to remove the fallen tree, the deceased laid helplessly and later died. Since the incident occurred on Saturday, Fanciah said he has been sleeping with friends in the Gbe Town community.

A home with its roof removed. Photo: Zeze Ballah

A home with its roof removed. Photo: Zeze Ballah

Sekou Kamaah, another victim in the SDA community on Bushrod Island, said the heavy storm, which lasted for thirty minutes, rendered about ten occupants of his house homeless.

Even though there were no casualties, Kamaah said “they are incurring several other expenses which were never anticipated.”

Bushrod Island, which appeared to be the worst hit in the region, saw several residents either left sleeping in the open or seeking shelter with unaffected neighbors.

Two other persons sustained various injuries after a palm tree fell on their home, but they are now receiving treatment at a local hospital in Monrovia.

Additionally, the roof of the Logan Town Cinema, one of the oldest landmarks on Bushrod Island, as well as the Toyota garage, the United Islamic Call Institute, among others, were impacted.

The Logan Town cinema after the heavy rainstorm. Photo: Zeze Ballah

The Logan Town cinema after the heavy rainstorm. Photo: Zeze Ballah

The heavy storm also carried the roofs of some structures to distant places.

The victims of the storm are seeking assistance to help them reconstruct. Several wires belonging to the Liberia Electricity Corporation were cut and seen laying on the side of the road.

There was no warning provided by any government agency about the storm.

Featured photo by Zeze Ballah

Zeze Ballah

Zeze made his journalism debut as a high school reporter at the LAMCO Area School System. In 2016 and 2017, the Press Union of Liberia awarded Zeze with the Photojournalist of the Year award. Zeze was also the union's 2017 Health Reporter of the Year. He is a Health Journalism Fellow with Internews.

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