Flood-hit Nigeria declares natl. disaster

Flood-hit Nigeria declares natl. disaster
# 12 October 2012 04:42 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA.Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has declared a national disaster following recent deadly flooding in the country, APA reports quoting Press TV.

"It is a national disaster…We are thinking of how to settle you all back to your places after the floods. Government is doing everything possible to cushion the effects on you...it will soon be over,” Jonathan said during a visit to a makeshift camp in Kogi, Nigeria’s worst-hit state, which is located in the country’s central region.

Nigeria’s worst flooding in almost five decades has affected 26 states across the country over the past few weeks, claiming at least 140 lives. It has also forced 623,900 people from their homes and destroyed 152,575 hectares of farmland.

The unprecedented flooding was triggered by heavy tropical rains, causing major rivers like the Niger burst their banks.

Nigerian officials say the flooding has also devastated the oil-rich Niger Delta, but oil production has not been halted.

Earlier in the day, an official from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) expressed concern over the deterioration of the situation in several areas, including Kogi, citing lack of facilities and accommodations as the main problems.

"Our major problem here is that we don’t have accommodation for all the victims. They are crammed into this small school," said Jubril Ebiloma, a coordinator of an ICRC camp in Kogi.

Torrential rains and flash floods, which sometimes prove deadly, particularly in rural areas or overpopulated slums, are common in Nigeria from March to September.

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