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Severe flash floods hit capital Abuja, claiming the lives of 4 people, Nigeria

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Severe flash floods hit the Nigerian capital Abuja and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on September 12, 2021, claiming the lives of 4 people.

The floods were caused by heavy rains, but the FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director-General Abbas G. Idriss said the situation has been worsened due to illegal building and blocked drainage channels.

The worst affected are areas on the southern outskirts of the city — Trademoore, Light Gold, Wisdom Estates, and Lugbe.

While damage assessment was still in progress on September 13, FEMA confirmed four deaths, 26 vehicles swept away, and a total of 166 damaged homes.1

"In light of this unfortunate incident, I wish to convey the deepest sympathies of the Honorable Minister of the Federal Capital Territory- Mallam Muhammed Musa Bello, to the residents of Trademoore Estate, Light Gold Estate, Wisdom Estate, Lugbe Community, affected individuals and families- including those of surrounding communities, over the loss of lives and property," Idriss said.

Flood damage in Abuja – September 2021. Images courtesy: FCT FEMA, Nigeria

"Also, I want to appeal to all residents of the Federal Capital Territory Especially Developers to desist from violating the approved building codes in the Federal Capital Territory.

"We are also appealing to them to stop erecting retention walls to protect stormwater from flowing. By doing so they are causing more havoc to the community.

"We also call on all residents to always call the 112 toll-free Emergency number to get prompt response when there is any form of threat or danger, as the Search and Rescue team of the Agency alongside other emergency stakeholders are on 24/7 alert."

With the FCT now entering the final phase of the rainy season – a phase in which rainfall is always at its peak, authorities are urging all residents to-

  • Avoid dumping of refuse in drainages;
  • Clear all surrounding drainages and other blockages that obstruct the free flow of water to reduce flood risk and its negative consequences;
  • Avoid driving or walking through floodwater;
  •  Relocate to higher ground before being threatened by floodwater for those who are living along the river banks;
  • Watch for sign posts on flood locations
  • And also take seriously FEMA’s early warning sensitization from the media and town criers.

References:

1 PRESS RELEASE BY THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL FCT EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY- ABBAS G. IDRISS ON THE FLOOD INCIDENT THAT OCCURRED AT TRADEMOORE, LIGHT GOLD, WISDOM ESTATE, AND LUGBE COMMUNITY OF THE FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY ON 12 SEPTEMBER 2021. – FCT FEMA

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