The Shendam bridge in Jos on Tuesday collapsed, cutting off most parts of Plateau South from the rest of the state. The bridge is also the main link from Jos to parts of Nasarawa State, Benue and Taraba. Among those stranded inside Shendam town were NEMA officials, who had visited the town on Monday to distribute relief materials to flood victims in Wase, Langtang and Shendam. The Shendam and Langtang flood also destroyed houses, farms and other valuables. The bridge collapsed after a torrential rainfall on Monday night.
Mr Alex Dabo, the supervisory councillor in charge of social services in Shendam Local Government, lamented that “we have lost our main bridge and we are at a loss as to how to handle this matter.’’ Dabo said that Shendam residents were mostly affected because the bridge was the only link to the market, schools, banks and many other offices located just on the outskirts of the town. Mr Eugene Nyelong, the NEMA Relief and Rehabilitation officer for the North-Central, who was among the stranded officials, said that the agency’s officials were already on ground to ascertain the level of damage to the bridge. “We have to ensure that no casualty is recorded; we are also looking into the possibility of erecting an alternative passage to restore some form of communication. “It is indeed, a very bad situation; very devastating but we shall see what we can do as quickly as possible,’’ he said. NEMA spokesman for North-Central, Audu Yohanna, who also reacted to the development, described it as “very unfortunate’’ but expressed relief that no casualty was recorded. “Nobody was killed but cars cannot cross to the other side as I speak with you. The residents are just confused. “What we intend to do is to try to find a way to Langtang through Tunkus and Mikang, while others will move through Lafia in Nasarawa State,’’ Yahanna said. Plateau had suffered successive flood incidents with the worst recorded in Gangare, Tudun-Osi, and Tudun Talakawa and Angwan Rogo settlements in Jos north where scores drowned.