Nigerian floods blamed on unusually high river levels

Hundreds killed in Nigeria floods, more than 1.4 million displaced as rivers overflow Published duration 23 July 2019

The authorities are struggling to cope with thousands of people displaced by a torrent of water which has caused widespread flooding in Nigeria.

More than 1.4 million people have been forced to flee their homes after rivers burst their banks, inundating large areas of northern Nigerian communities.

The capital, Abuja, was submerged under water, while the southern state of Kano bore the brunt of the flooding.

Authorities have struggled to provide clean drinking water to thousands in affected areas.

Nigeria’s government has warned of a “massive loss of life” and appealed for foreign aid.

image copyright Reuters image caption The flooding led the government to evacuate some of the country’s oil infrastructure

At least 30 people have been killed and thousands more made homeless in the flooded areas of Bau, in the south-eastern Nigerian state of Bauchi, local reports say, and the city of Maiduguri, a major destination for oil refiners in northern Nigeria.

In addition, more than 250,000 people have been affected by the flooding in Kano.

The flooding has also cut off roads between the capital, Abuja, and Kano, affecting transport links there and the north-western city of Kano.

Many people had to take shelter in the streets, with local reports saying the number of families sheltering in tents has reached nearly 40,000.

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and his ruling APC party have appealed for international assistance, and Mr Buhari said he would sign a $1bn (£800m) flood relief package after consultation with the government and the international community.

The government is also appealing for money from the private sector. Oil giant Shell said it was offering to chip in, and Nigeria’s state-run National Petroleum Corporation (NPC) has also promised $4bn.

Nigerian officials have blamed the floods on unusually high river levels, which in the last few days have surpassed 5m (16ft) in some areas.

media caption Nigeria’s president condemns the floods

image copyright Reuters image caption Thousands of people fled their homes to seek shelter in the streets of Abuja, many in tears

In the city of Kano, the floodwaters have cut off some of the country’s oil infrastructure,

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