52 dead after Niger flood

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iol news pic Niger River

AP

A group of women paddle their dugout canoe on the Niger River. (AP Photo/Clement N\'taye)

Niamey, Niger - Emergency officials in Niger say that 52 people have died after heavy rains caused rivers to overflow and buildings to crumble.

Col. Mahamane Laminou Moussa, the director general of the country's fire brigade service, said not a single neighborhood of the capital, Niamey, was spared. He said that on the night of August 20, 4.7 inches of rain (119 millimeters) fell in the capital, pushing water under people's doors and causing rivers to rise to the highest levels since 1929.

In the capital, around 400 000 people are living in emergency shelters in schools and mosques.

In the northern province of Agadez, 81 villages have been flooded, leaving 44 600 people homeless. In Dosso district, 14,588

houses were destroyed. In Tillabery region, nearly 1 500 acres of rice fields were flooded. - Sapa-AP


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