A coastal erosion of high magnitude, yesterday, hit and wiped away the shore protection wall of Tuomo community in Burutu local government area, Delta state, with community folk scampering for safety, who were caught unawares.
The incident, which is the first of it kinds in the community, also cut off the ongoing internal road project along the community waterfront.
No life, however, was lost to the phenomenon, but indigenes were seen packing their belongings from the troubled spot to avoid being victimized in a repeated occurrence as at the time of filing in this report.
An eye witness, Mr Oruferebo Hebrew, narrating how the incident occurred, said “yesterday around 5.30 pm, we were playing football in the field and suddenly we heard a high cracking sound at Foukonou area of the community.
“Curious to know what really happened, we went to the scene only to see that the community shore protection wall has been broken by erosion. We were amazed to see the magnitude of the incident.
“Many people have already packed out of the area because there are cracks everywhere and in case of any rainfall, it will be fatal and we don’t pray for that to happen.
“Similar incident of lesser magnitude occurred in another spot of this shore protection last year, which sent fears into the hearts of the people living around the place”.
The traditional ruler of Tuomo community, Chief Samuel O. Emokpo, speaking on the incident, called on the state and federal governments to intervene without delay to save lives and property.
He said, “I want both the state and federal governments to intervene immediately because any moment from now, any rainfall in this area will aggravate the incident.
“All the people living around the area are now packing their belongings to flee because of the new cracks that are becoming wider and wider every passing minute.
“I also called on the company that is handling the job, Vibro Flotation Nig Ltd, to mobilize to site immediately to avert calamity to befall the whole community”.
More so, a prominent chieftain of the community, Chief Akpola Ekperi, called on the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, owner of the job, to intervene without toying with the lives of the community folk.
“What I observed here is earthquake and not erosion. I believe that the dredging work of a construction company handling the Tuomo-Torugbene-Ojobo road, which carried out dredging on this spot around 2007/2008 could have contributed to the incident.
“The shore protection job was started in 2007 and up till this moment, not even half of the job is done. When we queried the contracting firm, Vibro Flotation Nig Ltd over the slow pace of work, they said money has not been paid to them.
“I called on the NDDC to intervene and call the contractor to site without wasting any time, because the situation needs urgent attention”, he said.
By Chancel Bomadi Sunday