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Accra Floods: Reporters’ Encounter With Death...   
 
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06-Jun-2015  
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Sometimes, in their anxiety to capture the happenings around them, journalists get caught up in crossfire in war zones, caught up in fire disasters, marooned by flood waters or get drowned.

Some of our reporters faced similar nightmares last Wednesday, either in the line of duty or on their way home from work.
Four of our reporters, Mr Alhassan Zakaria, Mr Edmund Smith-Asante, Mrs Emelia Ennin Abbey and Mrs Doreen Andoh, were all saved by a hair’s breath. Three of them got stucked in their vehicles and had to wait till early Thursday to escape from the flood while the fourth person had to be carried by another commuter on his back throughout the night.
Two of them, Mr Zakaria and Mr Smith-Asante, share their experiences.
For Mr Zakaria, he nearly got drowned when he was trapped in flood waters under a shed at a shop at Adabraka.
Mr Zakaria who was confined in the cold muddy water with another stranded female commuter, spent close to six-and-a-half hours standing under the shed with the water reaching their chest level.
The incident occurred between the hours of 7:30p.m. and 2:15a.m. last Wednesday near the “Aponkye Spot”, an eatery at Adabraka Official Town, about 130 metres from the Graphic Communications Group Limited head office in Accra.

Prayers
After a number of attempts to rescue Mr Zakaria and his female “partner” had failed, the two distressed persons resigned themselves to fate as they held on to each other and prayed.
“While my female colleague was mentioning the name of Jesus, I resorted to silent recital of some verses from the Quran,” Mr Zakaria stated.
According to him, when the rain eventually stopped at about 2a.m., he decided to carry his “partner” on his back to cross the flooded road to higher grounds, dragging his feet carefully in the slippery and dangerous water that was still to his chest level. “My scared colleague who was a bit short, held tightly to my neck, nearly suffocating me but I trudged on.”

Decision
“We decided to weather the storm to move away from our comfort zone when we realised the rains had started coming again,” he explained.
And after a short distance, “we found our way into an equally flooded salon whose occupants had also escaped from their inundated rooms.
He said they finally left the scene at about 3:45a.m. last Thursday after the water had receded.
“I arrived home at the Teshie Estates at 5:10a.m. after leaving the office at 7:30p.m, the previous day,” Mr Zakaria indicated.

Anger, fear and trepidation
For Mr Smith-Asante, it was a mixture of anger, fear and trepidation when he fell into the churning flood waters on the Adabraka Presbyterian Church street.
According to him, he was angry because he did not see the floods early enough to escape, and the fear and trepidation had to do with the speed with which the flood waters rose and trapped him.

He had closed from work late after covering the vetting of a nominee of the President for the position of Supreme Court Judge.
He said he decided to get out of the car which was fast gathering the flood waters and saw my bag at the back which had his work tools – laptop, camera and tablet, all already in a pool of water.
After putting off the ignition I rolled up the glass, switched off the headlights and got out into the fast rushing water from the back and front.
Mr Smith-Asante said as if he had run from frying pan to fire, the house that he had taken refuge in also started flooding at a fast pace while his Opel Astra Estate got marooned by the on rushing flood.

Running for shelter

He said there was chaos in the house as young men in it started helping the women and children to relocate to an adjoining house which was also quickly inundated by the water.
“When it was my turn, I realised to my consternation that the level of the water had risen to neck level. Fearfully I was shepherded by one of the young men who kept giving me the geography of the house so that I did not trip and fall.



“Be bold, be a man, he kept on prodding as the going got tougher and tougher. We finally arrived at our destination where I climbed the wooden staircase to higher ground and eventually perched on an ice chest throughout the night and wee hours of the following day,” he said.

 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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