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Nigeria issues alert for high rainfall, flooding

Ships take shelter at a harbor in Sanmen County of east China's Zhejiang Province, July 11, 2015. The approaching Typhoon Chan-Hom has brought gales and rainstorms to Zhejiang Province, east China, forcing hundreds of flights to be canceled and highways to be closed, local authorities said Saturday. (Xinhua/Xu Yu) (zwx)

Nigerian authorities on Friday issued an alert on high rainfall and flooding, saying the situation could have effects on health, agriculture and construction in parts of the country.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), which issued the alert in collaboration with other agencies, including the Nigeria Meteorological Agency and Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), warned that flooding due to predicted above-normal rainfall can erode roads and bridges which may hinder the movement of people, goods, and services in the country.

NEMA also predicted that high rainfall might cause an epidemic and low agriculture output, among others, citing an official report on the “2021 Disaster Risk Management Implications of the Nigerian Seasonal Climate Prediction and Annual Flood Outlook.”

In the report, NEMA recommended strategic planning against flood disasters for various sectors of the economy.

The NIHSA had earlier predicted river flooding to be expected in states like Anambra, Adamawa, Bayelsa, Benue, Delta, Edo, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Rivers, and Taraba. Coastal flooding is also expected in Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ondo, Lagos, and Rivers due to a rise in sea level and tidal surge.

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It said on the account of poor drainage facilities, flash and urban flooding was forecast to occur in major cities including Lagos, Ibadan, Port-Harcourt, Sokoto, Kaduna, Yola, Maiduguri, and Makurdi.

Due to the heavy rainfall and extreme temperatures, the NIHSA also warned of an imminent increase in malaria, water-borne and vector-borne diseases. It said poor drainage systems could give rise to cholera, typhoid, diarrhea, skin diseases in areas likely to have flooding.

NEMA noted the above-normal rainfall that is being expected might give rise to high agricultural production but could result in flooding and washing away of agricultural land.

The shell quality and egg weight in poultry layers might also be affected, “as a result of expected warmer than normal temperatures,” the emergency response agency warned, while saying the reservoirs might be over-stretched due to resultant spillages or emergency water release. Enditem