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General News of Monday, 21 May 2012

Source: Daily Guide

Windstorm Kills 5

An unusual rainstorm dubbed ‘Hurricane Umbrella’ last Saturday swept through the southern part of the country, leaving in its trail, a number of casualties, uprooted trees and giant billboards alongside damaged properties worth millions of cedis.

By the time the rainstorm was over, five lives had been lost and as at press time, casualties were still being counted.

A man believed to be a chief was killed by a falling tree at a place called Water Works at Mallam, a suburb of Accra, while a woman was electrocuted at Mamobi, another Accra suburb.

At Neoplan station near Kwame Nkrumah Circle, a man was pulled out from the gutter yesterday morning and there is strong suspicion that he might have been drowned during the rain. The body was taken away in a police ambulance van with registration number, GP 961, to the Police Hospital morgue.

A mother and a daughter could not also survive the storm in Cape Coast.

Accra appeared to have suffered the brunt of the wind whose speed the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMA) sources put at over 90 kilometres an hour, a speed arguably unprecedented in living memory in the country.

The wind, said to have originated from Benin Republic, swept through the southern portions of Togo, Accra and headed for Cape Coast and Cote d’Ivoire.

The Accident Centre of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital was particularly busy as many accident victims turned to the facility for attention.

A mother of three, Binta Husseini, a resident of Mamobi near Nima, in her mid-thirties, was electrocuted when in the course of the rain, that followed the storm, she went to remove a pillow from an electrified roof.

A young man in the house told DAILY GUIDE that after chatting with the deceased for a while, he went into his room but when he came out during the rain, Binta was on the floor in her death throes.

In Cape Coast, a Nigerian woman and her seven-year-old daughter were killed when a tree fell on their shop at a place called Pedu.

The Central Regional capital, like Accra, suffered ripped-off roofs and fallen billboards.

Advertising agencies and corporate Ghana have started counting their losses following the destruction caused to billboards and other corporate logos and sign posts.

Some agencies were seeing yesterday removing their clients’ billboards, ostensibly to give reports about the destruction.

The wind which some described as a mini-hurricane was preceded by an excessive high temperature, soon to be followed by an ominous rain cloud.

The storm is said to have gathered momentum by the time it hit Accra; residents found the wind too strong to contain with many turning in and wondering whether a hurricane was in the offing.

Trees swayed to the rhythm of the cruising wind, with some of them getting uprooted from their bases.

At a place not far away from the offices of the DAILY GUIDE, a young man, Antar Abdul Hamid, who had visited his mechanic friend, made for his Kia Spectra with registration number GR 628-12 to escape the approaching storm when he heard a bang- a giant tree had fallen on his car, leaving it completely mangled. He escaped death by the whisker.

As for flimsily erected giant billboards around the Nkrumah and Tetteh Quashie Circles in Accra, many of them bowed to the sweeping wind, with fallen trees blocking portions of these busy roads in the nation’s capital.

At Adabraka market, a big tree fell and blocked access to the market just as the Darkuman main road equally was blocked by a fallen tree, causing a heavy vehicular traffic on that stretch of the busy road linking the George Bush Motorway at Lapaz.

Some parts of Accra and Tema have been without electricity since Saturday as the Electricity Company of Ghana technicians were said to be working to restore normalcy.

Being one of the first rains to usher in the rainy season, city residents, especially those living in low lying areas, are wondering what is in store for them, given previous inclement rainy seasons.

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