The Heat Is Online

Flash Floods Displace Thousands in Lagos

Floods Displace Thousands in Nigerian City, Aug. 7, 2007


LAGOS - Flash floods sweeping Nigeria's biggest city, Lagos, have forced thousands of families from their homes, residents and witnesses said on Sunday.


The flooding in the Ikorodu district of Nigeria's commercial capital follows days of heavy rain, which caused a nearby river to overflow its banks, residents said.


Reuters correspondents who were in the district said over 100 homes were submerged by the floods, which began on Wednesday and had not receded by Sunday. Some buildings had collapsed.


Some residents said six people were missing, but it was not clear if they had been swept away by the floods.


"It has never happened like this before. This is too much, it has disrupted our lives," said a stranded resident, Stephen Amaefule.


Some locals moved around the neighbourhood in canoes, while others rolled up their trousers and waded.


Scores of people have taken refuge in an emergency camp set up by the government in a neighbourhood primary school, while others have taken shelter with friends and relatives, officials said.


Lagos lies on the coast and much of it is situated below sea-level, making it prone to flooding. Authorities have spent large amounts of money on flood defences with little success.