Fanen IHYONGO, Jalingo
Several churches, including residential houses have collapsed in Mbayongo Ward, in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue State which shares boundary with Southern Taraba.
A woman was killed with several others injured in the incident. Properties and equipment worth millions of naira were also destroyed.
A member representing Katsina-Ala East Constituency in the House of Assembly, Jonathan Agbidyeh, , said “the death toll would have been more, if not for God’s intervention.”
The lawmaker’s Media and Publicity aide, Festus Aoraan, told The Nation that a torrential downpour, accompanied by strong winds, caused the buildings to collapse. Aoraan said the lawmaker described the incident as “tragic and sad.”
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“The residents were lamenting the incident during our visit to the place. The entire community wore a mournful face,” Aoraan said.
The churches destroyed include St Mark’s Catholic Church Bagu, NKST Church Tse-De, Living Faith Church Bagu and Healing Nation Church Bagu.
It was gathered that, apart from the churches, Bagu Community Nursery and Primary School and many residential buildings in the area were destroyed, displacing dozens of residents.
The deceased, Comfort Msughshima Solomon and her co-worshipers were reportedly carrying out their routine religious activities at St Mark’s Catholic Church when the walls and roof of the church suddenly pulled down.
“One soul was lost, while some were lucky to be rescued. Those injured were rushed to the Local Government Health Clinic in Gbise, where they are being treated,” Agbidyeh said in a statement on Friday.