At least 100 dead in Nigeria flooding after weeks of rain

More than 100 people have died as a result of flooding in Nigeria, after heavy rains swelled two major rivers beyond their banks, authorities said Monday.

More than 100 people have died and thousands were displaced by the overflow of Nigeria's Niger and Benue Rivers, authorities said Monday. Photo courtesy of Kogi State government and NEMA/Twitter
More than 100 people have died and thousands were displaced by the overflow of Nigeria’s Niger and Benue Rivers, authorities said Monday. Photo courtesy of Kogi State government and NEMA/Twitter

The rain storms in the past two weeks caused the Niger and Benue Rivers to overflow, the National Emergency Management Agency said.
NEMA Director-General Mustapha Maihaja also warned that flooding could intensify.

The area was declared a national disaster and President Muhammadu Buhari announced the authorization of $8.2 million in relief aid.

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Officials said thousands have been displaced and farmlands in central and southern Nigeria have been ruined. Niger state is the worst hit, with 40 deaths reported so far.

The two rivers flow horizontally across the country and merge to flow southerly to the Atlantic Ocean’s Bay of Guinea. Lojoka, the city at the rivers’ confluence in Kogi state, has also been hard-hit by flooding, authorities said.

The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency warned for several weeks of impending flooding that could be comparable to disastrous flooding in Nigeria in 2012, in which 363 people died and more than 2 million were displaced.

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Nigeria faces nearly annual flooding, a situation blamed on inadequate local planning and poor drainage systems.

ByEd Adamczyk