The Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMA) yesterday predicted of more heavy rains in the coming weeks and warned the general public to take precautionary measures to avoid endangering their lives during downpour.
The head of the Meteorological Forecast Office at the GMA, Mr Michael Padi, told the Ghanaian Times in an interview in Accra yesterday that last night’s downpour which hit southern Ghana, especially Accra, with the rain quantum of 51.5 mm was on the higher side as compared to previous downpour.
He predicted that more of such heavy downpours were expected at least three times a week.
Mr Padi named the southern sector – the whole of the coastal belt of Greater Accra, Western, Central Regions and the inland mainly Ashanti, Eastern and Volta regions as regions expected to record heavy rains.
Areas around the Volta Lake to be affected are Kete-Krachi, Dambai and Hohoe stretching through Koforidua and the Kwahu mountains and its surrounding areas.
“The rains has started in earnest, he said adding, that the downpours will be accompanied by heavy thunderstorms and lightening which may pose a serious danger to lives and property and, therefore, advised residents to stay indoors during such occurrences.
Lightening, he said, was a highly charged atmospheric electrical voltage that could electrocute persons coming in contact with such high voltage when outdoors during rainstorm and lightening.
Similarly, the thunderstorm could knock out power lines and uproot trees, rip off roofs of buildings which are all dangerous to human lives.
Regarding motorists who are caught up in traffic during such down pours, he cautioned that it was best to park off the road at a safer place or on higher grounds to prevent the vehicle from being swept away by the high current.
He warned persons especially drivers of cross country vehicles popularly known as Four-By-Four (4X4), to avoid taking the risk to wade through the floods saying the vehicle was a machine not meant for water but for humans and must therefore, be treated as such.
“Refusal to observe this often led to casualties on the road”, Mr Padi stated.
According to the Meteorological Forecast Head, flooding was a natural phenomenon that could be prevented through desilting gutters, avoid throwing rubbish into the gutters and drains during rains.
As to what the authorities could do to mitigate future flooding, he advised that all structures in water ways should be removed and that no one should be allowed to build on such water ways irrespective of their status.
Responding to safety of the country’s local airline industry to protect lives and property, Mr Padi asked the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority to enforce to the fullest, all safety measures required by airlines by getting expert advice from the Meteorological Office at the Airport, before the flight takes off to any part of the country.
We are to advise pilots about the weather situation in the skies before take-off every day.
Unfortunately, Mr Padi explained that the situation was the opposite where at times pilots are forced to return to Accra, without landing at their destination due to poor weather conditions.
But if the pilot is briefed, he may ether reschedule the fight or not go at all to save the lives of his passengers.
Meanwhile last night’s downpour affected part of the North Industrial area in Accra, including the New Times Corporation (NTC).
Some offices of the Corporation got flooded leaving behind some destruction of documents and electrical cables.
Most affected were The Spectator Editorial, Account office, Administration, the Boardroom, the ICT, and Human Resource, Department.
Earlier in the morning yesterday at about 6:30 am, cleaners together with other staff of NTC were seen sweeping the debris created by the downpour and scooping away water from the flooded offices.
Chairs and desks, books, newspapers, laptops, and some items which were soaked by the flood in the offices were all taken out by the staff and the cleaners in order to scoop the flood waters.
BY NORMAN COOPER AND EVANGEL KELVIN AINOO