Hundreds killed in Nigeria floods, more than 1.4 million displaced: UN
Davao del Norte, Feb 24 (Reuters) – Floods killed at least 13 people in Nigeria and left at least 1.4 million people displaced in the most recent rainy season to hit the sub-Saharan country, the United Nations said on Monday, with most of the fatalities occurring in the east.
The toll was expected to rise as it started to dry out and relief and security efforts were ramped up, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), a World Food Programme agency, said.
“We are at the start of a new normal,” OCHA spokesman Frank Lusenge said.
“The situation remains very fragile and we urge all parties to show maximum goodwill, co-operation and commitment.”
“It is clear that at this stage, the impact of the floods has been widespread as many affected persons have had to survive on less than one square kilometer of land,” Lusenge said.
“However, there are many areas where the floods have subsided. Communities have formed partnerships to help those in need, including the displaced.”
Fifty people were wounded in the floods, the OCHA news agency said, citing witnesses. The floods affected 11 states, with the capital Abuja facing the worst damage, with around 5 million people living in temporary shelters along its flood lines.
The state of Borno in the northeast recorded the highest number of dead and missing in the floods – 12,000 people were feared dead, according to the OCHA.
Among the worst-hit was the central Nigerian state of Plateau, close to the country’s oil capital, Lagos, where at least 486 people died, according to the OCHA.
Two of the state officials were kidnapped, according to the OCHA.
In the northern state of Yobe, two people were killed and dozens of homes destroyed in the flooding, while a further 537 were reportedly damaged in Borno state alone, according to the OCHA.
“This has been a particularly devastating impact in the states of Yobe and Gombe, which