Hundreds killed in Nigeria floods, more than 1.4 million displaced
(MUNICH) — More than 1.4 million people have been displaced in one of Nigeria’s worst floods in decades.
The flooding was caused by a tropical system, the U.S. government said.
In the village of Okon River in southwestern Nigeria, there were reports of flooding of homes and the death of one woman and one child after a storm of unusual ferocity, flooding from rain and mud.
About 200 people were killed when heavy rains flooded the communities on the southwest coast, in some cases forcing people to abandon their houses and seek temporary accommodation in churches and schools. About another 1,000 more were displaced from their homes.
The toll was expected to rise as soldiers and police struggled to contain the situation, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.
The U.N. said that the rains had reached levels not experienced since the 1970s.
On top of that, the government had begun distributing aid after receiving a $1.25 million (800,000 euros) donation from the World Bank.
The U.N. agency said it had already distributed more than 852,000 blankets and 2.2 million plastic sheets to people in the village of Okon River. Some 700,000 people have been affected. The U.N. said it had also delivered food, clothes and other relief supplies.
The BBC’s Richard Galpin, reporting from Lagos, said that the U.N. says that the affected area includes more than a hundred villages across five states.
Some 1.5 million people have fled their homes and are living in shelters, U.N. officials said.
“Many are still waiting as their neighbours are still moving around and collecting those belongings from ruined houses,” our correspondent said.
The floods began on September 5, when torrential rain struck the region.
The heavy rains had stopped on September 13 when the U.N. announced it was issuing a disaster warning for the flood-hit areas.
At least 10 people have been killed, Nigeria’s police chief said. He said the death toll probably could reach 20, most of them in the state of Kwara.
Police are distributing leaflets to warn people to stay out of the flooding-hit area and to return home as soon as possible.
“We are receiving reports of bodies with no identification papers,”