Fourteen persons are believed to have been killed following a downpour which resulted into flooding in Suleja, Niger state.
The rain which begun on Saturday and ended on Sunday is said to have rendered over 100 households homeless at Banki-Iku and Chachania communities in the Suleja local government area of the state.
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Property worth millions of naira were destroyed and houses submerged. It was learnt that while a family lost eight of its members, another lost six.
Local divers carried out the rescue operation before the arrival of the officials of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
The death toll is likely to increase as some families are still searching for their members.
Abdullahi Maje, chairman of Suleja local government, Malam has confirmed 10 persons missing and two bodies recovered in flood in the area on Sunday.
Witnesses had said that eight members of a family were suspected to have died in the flood. The head of the household was said to have survived but his two wives and six children were not lucky.
Many people struggled to bail water out of their houses.
The district police officer-in-charge of division ‘A’ police station in Suleja, Mohammed Mohammed, could not confirm the casualty figure but said his men had visited the flood scenes.
“The flood affected many people who built their houses along the river bank; many houses have been destroyed with unconfirmed number of deaths recorded.
“Police are providing security to the scene so that hoodlums will not cart away victims’ property especially those lying outside,” ” he said.
He promised to furnish more details on the incident.
A Search and Rescue Officer of NEMA, Egrigba Micheal in an interview with Channels Television, said that the agency was able to rescue a victim who has been rushed to the Suleja General Hospital.
“We got a call from our zonal coordinator, Mohammed Idris that there was a flood in Suleja. So we quickly moved to Suleja. We have seen a lot of devastation the rain has caused. Many of the houses were submerged while some were completely rooted out. Many properties worth millions of naira were also destroyed.
“There was one house that had eight people completely dead. In a family of eight, only one person was rescued dead. But the other seven are still missing.
“We will go back to write our report and submit to our boss. Certainly tomorrow they will come back and do another assessment before there can be any relief material,” he said.
Narrating their ordeals, residents said some who had attempted to leave their submerged homes for safety were swept away by the flood. They added that cars and vehicles parked were also moved from their original positions due to the heavy downpour.
A resident said:
“I know of nine persons who were carried away by the flood and likely dead in community alone.
“The local government chairman and some NEMA officials visited the community to carry out an on the spot assessment and condole with the families of those that lost their lives.”
On Saturday, residents of Lekki and Victoria Island in Eti Osa local government area of Lagos were trapped in their homes as a result of the flood. The water also damaged vehicles.
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has alerted Nigerians to brace up for serious rainfall this year.
In the last three months, 10 states have been affected by flooding in the country.