Floods are submerging whole houses in Nigeria. At least 80 have died trying to escape as Nigeria’s rivers and lakes overflow in the aftermath of three days of record flooding.
While Nigeria’s largest metropolitan areas are mostly unaffected, tens of thousands have been forced to flee their homes following torrential rain in the northern city of Kano. A record-breaking 25 centimetres of rain fell in 24 hours, causing rivers to burst their banks in many areas.
Nigerian Red Cross worker Olasanmi Umar said she has evacuated more than 300 people from a block of flats in Dikwa, a city on the shore of Lake Chad.
She said: “There is a lot of water in our town. There is at least a five-metre-deep river in our town.
“It took us about five hours to cross the river because the water rose five to six feet.”
In Mubi, west of the oil-rich Niger Delta, the flooding has caused the evacuation of entire villages. A local meteorologist said the levels of water had risen by more than two metres.
Dikwa Mayor Bature Wami said police had used sniffer dogs and ladders to force residents out of their buildings.
“They asked my son, my brother, a school friend, to go out to clean the street,” Wami told the Guardian.
“I am in shock. I can’t believe this is happening. I am praying for everyone who is still in the town.”
Lagos, Yola and Kano were the hardest hit, with all three of those states experiencing record levels of rainfall.
Tens of thousands are feared to have been forced to flee their homes in recent days, after the storm turned the rivers of some areas into brooks of biblical proportions.
Some are using sheets to bail out their houses from rivers on the other side of the road. Others have used makeshift rafts.
“It took me three hours to get home,” said the head of