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Windstorms affect more than thousand people in Gbarpolu, Bong, and Nimba

Gbarpolu, Bong, and Nimba Counties were recently devastated by windstorms, which severely damaged 298 homes and left over a thousand residents homeless.

By Kruah Thompson 

Monrovia, March 22, 2024: Liberia’s National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) says recent windstorm incidents across three counties in Liberia have left a trail of destruction, affected 1,863 individuals, and caused serious injuries to two persons.

NDMA Executive Director Ansu Dulleh told a regular press briefing on Thursday, 21 March 2024, at the Ministry of Information in Monrovia that the windstorms occurred on Saturday, 16 March, and ravaged Gbarpolu, Bong, and Nimba Counties.

He said they resulted in widespread devastation, as reports indicated that 298 homes were severely damaged, leaving over a thousand people homeless.

After receiving such information, Mr. Dulleh revealed that the Government of Liberia, through the NDMA, swiftly dispatched a team of responders to collaborate with local authorities in the affected counties to ascertain the gravity of the situation. 

In his address, Director Dulleh outlined the severity of the situation, citing specific areas such as Weasua town in Gbarpolu, Janplee, Garmue, and Pantah in Bong County, and Zoeplaygbor in Nimba, where numerous homes were either partially or destroyed entirely.

“In Gbarpolu County, 769 individuals were affected, with 52 homes badly damaged and 49 partially damaged out of 101 homes assessed,” Dulleh disclosed. 

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“Similarly, in Bong County, 82 homes were evaluated, with 45 severely damaged and 37 partially damaged. Nimba County reported 268 affected individuals, with two structures completely destroyed and a teenager sustaining severe injuries,” he noted. 

Additionally, Director Dulleh emphasized the government’s commitment to addressing the humanitarian needs of the affected population and ensuring their safety against future hazards. 

He referenced the “World Bank Group Climate Risk Profile-2024 for Liberia,” which predicts increased rainfall patterns, accompanied by windstorms and rising sea levels, posing imminent risks to lives and infrastructure.

With the rainy season yet to begin, Director Dulleh warned of the potential for further devastation if precautions are not taken.

 He urged vulnerable coastal communities to remain vigilant against coastal erosion and advised the public to prepare for the impending hazards by disseminating educational campaigns on disaster preparedness.

Director Dulleh appealed to local and international partners for support in addressing the pressing humanitarian needs arising from the disaster. 

He called upon the Legislature to prioritize allocating resources to the NDMA in the 2024 proposed budget, enabling the agency to respond effectively to future crises.

The National Disaster Management Agency is statutorily responsible for disaster prevention, mitigation, and recovery.

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