It was excitement galore as residents of Umuahia, Abia capital, on Sunday, witnessed first rain in 2022, which lasted about one hour.

The first rain for the day, which was a light shower, started at about 8:45 a.m. and ended at about 9 a.m.

The second rain, which came with lightning and thunderstorm, started at about 11:45 a.m. and lasted for about 40 minutes in most parts of the metropolis and its environs.

A cross-section of the residents, who spoke with a NAN correspondent, expressed happiness with the rain.

They said that the rain, which came early, was a sign of good omen for the year.

One of the residents, Mr. Chika Kalu said: “We are glad to witness the first rain of the year, which incidentally came on a Sunday.

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“It was showers of blessing for us and a good sign that this year will be better than the previous one.”

Also, another resident, Mr. Nlewedim Onyema, said that the rain would reduce the excessive heat occasioned by the high temperature that had prevailed in the metropolis for some time.

“I’m so happy that we have recorded the first rain of the year. At least, we can now sleep well in the night because the temperature will now reduce to normal,” he said.

A farmer, Mr. Kingsley Chukwu, expressed delight at the rain, describing it as God’s blessing to His people.

“This year’s rain comes so early, being that today is Jan. 9, and it’s so heavy.

“It is a sign that the year will be better, especially for us farmers, because it will enable us to start early planting,” he said.

Corroborating him, Mrs Chinyere Ugwu, a farmer, believed that the rain was a sign of hope that the year would be better for farmers.

“I cultivate mainly vegetables and I need rain to do my work in order to have more yields. That is why I’m happy that the rain came early,” Ugwu said. (NAN)