Floods hit Nigerian city

Friday 02nd Sep 2011 by theWeather Club

At least 102 people are now thought to have been killed by floods in and around the south-western Nigerian city of Ibadan, the Nigerian Red Cross says. The floods have resulted from heavy rains that began on Friday 26th August. “It's a very serious situation,” said Yushau Shuaib, an official in the city, which lies 150km north of Lagos.

Although flooding is common in Nigeria during the rainy season, this year's rains have been particularly heavy. Hundreds of cars were also reported to have been submerged in the floods, along with scores of dwellings and extensive farmland.

The flood damage covered a large area, reportedly exacerbated by large amounts of rubbish and debris clogging drains in the city. The Nation newspaper reported stall owners from the market in the Omi-Adio area of the city bursting into tears after seeing the state of their stock that had been held in a water damaged warehouse.

Many people have also been made homeless as many homes in the area are simply not sturdy enough to withstand fast moving water. Mr Shuaib said it was impossible to give an accurate figure of those displaced, but said that it was “definitely in the thousands”.

“I think in the process a lot of [houses] were washed away by the rainwater,” said Umar Mairiga, a Red Cross official. He said that some victims had been trapped in collapsed buildings.

The flooding is the result of heavy rains that caused a dam to overflow, washing away bridges and submerging buildings across the city. Although flooding is common in Nigeria during the rainy season, meteorologists say this year's rains have been particularly heavy.

Nigeria experienced severe flooding last year that hit some 500,000 people in many of its 36 states. Across western and central Africa as a whole, more than 300 people were killed in the 2010 rainy season.