Heavy downpour has fallen scores of trees on major highways in Calabar, Cross River State, restricting the free flow of vehicular movement along the affected routes.
The rain, which started around 11pm on Saturday to the early hours of Sunday, also caused flooding in some parts of Calabar metropolis.
The State Commissioner for the Environment, Mfon Bassey, who led a team of staff from the Ministry, including the Calabar Urban Development Authority staff, to evacuate the fallen trees, said over 20 trees were pulled down by the rain.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the fallen trees were planted by the state government to beautify the state capital and to also provide shelter for relaxation.
Bassey mentioned the affected areas to include Ibom Layout, Mbukpa, Goldie by Holy Child, Atimbo, IBB, Ekong Eta by Marian and State Housing among others.
He said the ministry swung into action after he received several calls from residents in the affected areas that the trees had prevented them from driving in and out of their residences.
He said: “The heavy downpour in Calabar that started on the night of Saturday through the morning of Sunday pulled down over 20 trees in various locations within the metropolis.
“As soon as we received the calls, we immediately went to the affected areas and you can see us working up till now.
“We started the evacuation of these trees from Atimbo area of Calabar Municipality around 5am and we must ensure that all affected areas are cleaned up to allow for free flow of movements.
“Unfortunately, one of the trees fell on a parked vehicle, but no life was lost.”
The Commissioner advised residents in the state to desist from parking their vehicles under trees as the rainy season draws near.
Bassey also called on residents in the state to report to the office on cases of any fallen trees around their areas for prompt cutting and evacuation to ensure sanity and cleanliness of the environment.
Joe-Mary Ekeng, the Executive Secretary of CUDA, said they had to turn out in their numbers in order to clear the affected areas and restore free flow of movements.
A resident in Ibom Layout, Dr. Eric Bassey, lauded the Commissioner for the prompt response, adding that the fallen trees had earlier prevented them from driving in and out of their houses.
Princewill Ayim, Director General of Cross River State Emergency Management Agency, said the rain had caused havoc in some areas in Calabar.
Ayim told NAN in a telephone interview that areas affected by flooding included Target, Parliamentary Road, Effioete Roundabout, Federal Housing and Edim-Otop.
He advised residents in the state to avoid dumping their refuse along the water channels in other to allow for free flow of water to prevent flooding.