Nigeria floods kill 137 since July

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iol pic afr nigeria floods REUTERS File photo.

Lagos -

Flooding across Nigeria has killed 137 people and displaced more the 35 000 since July, the Red Cross said on Monday, warning that latest forecasts suggest the damage could still worsen.

The states affected range from Lagos in the south-west to Adamawa in the north-east, where at least 30 people died following the release of water from a dam in Cameroon that caused Nigeria's River Benue to overflow.

The disaster management coordinator with the Nigeria Red Cross, Umar Mairiga, who provided the death toll, said 36 331 people had been displaced across 15 affected states.

“The latest information that may compound the situation is that the River Niger is overflowing its banks,” he told AFP, referring to the river that cuts through several southern and central states.

Riverbank communities in central states like Kogi “may be submerged”, Mairiga said.

The rainy season in Nigeria, Africa's most populous country with about 160 million people, runs roughly from March to September. Much of the country has experienced heavy rainfall this year which has caused flash floods.

Various government agencies have offered different figures for the damage caused, with emergency officials in Adamawa saying 121 00 people had been displaced in that state alone.

The government in neighbouring Niger said last week that at least 68 people had been killed and nearly 500 000 displaced by flooding since July. - Sapa-AFP


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