More than 600 killed in Nigeria’s worst flooding in a decade
Nigeria has been hit by one of the worst floods on record as the heaviest downpour of rain since 1995 swept across the country.
Fishermen were among many who were caught off guard by the downpour which left roads and buildings flooded.
Many people are now sheltering in schools and churches after fleeing their homes, as emergency services struggled to provide aid.
A man looks at a house underwater in Calabar, south east Nigeria, after heavy monsoon rains swept through the country on Thursday.
The rain has led to the flooding of nearly 4,000 houses, damaged 5,000 others and inundated more than 600,000 hectares (1,440 square miles) of land.
Many of these are believed to be on the edge of the riverine rainforests of the Niger Delta, home to a number of the world’s largest oil refineries.
The United Nations’ World Food Programme estimated that over 250,000 people need food assistance.
The floods have been exacerbated by the recent failure of the country’s water and electricity supply.
On Tuesday, the Electricity Independent Authority of Nigeria (EIAN), which oversees the country’s power distribution system, failed to provide power to over 800,000 people.
In a statement, it claimed that the problem was fixed by late Wednesday. However, in many areas, there were problems with repairs, and there were power cuts across many parts of the country.
Nigeria’s weather website warned that there could be more heavy rain on Friday.
The floods started late on Tuesday when torrential rains hit the country.
They quickly intensified and continued throughout the night.
A man in Borno, the most affected state in Nigeria, told the BBC that people have been trying to get back to their homes.
“It started with heavy rains which flooded houses but then it became so severe that houses were flooded from one side to the other,” he said.
“I never expected our village to be flooded. It was not even a year ago when we were flooded.”
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