More than 600 killed in Nigeria’s worst flooding in a decade
Authorities say more than 600 people have been confirmed dead after at least 13,000 homes were submerged and bridges were swept away in flooding in Nigeria’s north.
Nigeria has experienced its worst flooding ever in decades and as many as 2.5 million people are said to need aid.
The Red Cross is flying in aid from other countries.
The country’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, ordered the army to help rescue flood victims and vowed a full investigation into the flood’s causes.
However, experts cautioned that there are several possible causes for the flooding, including tropical cyclones and the effects of climate change.
According to the World Meteorological Organisation, the flooding could be the result of “very low rainfall in recent months”.
This has led to a “very rainy” El Nino weather pattern, which typically brings wet spells to the northern parts of the world.
A spokesman for the United Nations agency, UNICEF, said: “The floods are worse than in 2010 [when a devastating flood swept across Nigeria]. There’s nothing for us in the report to explain what happened.”
Some 800,000 people have been left homeless and most of the 300,000 residents of the capital Ndu, about 500 miles from the coast, have been isolated.
“The situation is extremely difficult,” Yinka Odunuyi, a spokesman for Nigeria’s military, told AFP.
“The roads are flooded and there are floods everywhere. We are struggling to evacuate the people who have been stranded for the past month.”
Nigeria’s government is due to announce a “major disaster” on Tuesday.
The floods have also claimed the lives of five policemen, including three soldiers, and left more than 13,000 homes without power and water supplies.
Nigerian Army spokesman Sergeant Major Kola Ologbondi told AFP that the soldiers were deployed to the scene to assist rescue teams.