The Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet has declared that from August to October this year, 11 states will experience severe floods as their various soil moistures had reached or were close to saturation.
In its Rainfall Situation and Prospects of Flooding report for the months of August, September and October 2016 released on Monday, NiMet said findings revealed that the saturation of soil moisture in the affected states was due to cumulative high intensity rainfall in June and July.
The findings, it said, was made while working in collaboration with the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency in monitoring rainfall events across the country.
NiMet, in its latest flood alert, said, “After thorough analyses of rainfall data from our observatories nationwide for June and July, we wish to provide the following information and advisories to the public, especially those in the affected areas.
Soil moisture has either reached saturation, or near saturation levels due to cumulative high intensity rainfall in some parts of the country in June and July.
“The affected states include Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Kaduna, Kwara, Nasarawa, Yobe and Zamfara. This means that floods should be expected in these areas because the soil is no longer able to absorb more rainwater in the coming weeks which coincide with the peak of the rainy season.”
The agency, in its 2016 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction, had stated that while many parts of Nigeria would experience lower than normal total rainfall due to the effect of El Nino, flooding could still be experienced in such areas, particularly those that were naturally prone to it.
The SRP identified some parts of the North-West, South-West and low-lying areas as particularly vulnerable to flooding during the 2016 rainy season.
These observations and projections were also in agreement with the 2016 Annual Flood Outlook that was released by the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency.
NIMet advised governments, communities and individuals in these vulnerable parts of the country to take proactive actions such as clearing water channels and drainages, and avoiding activities that block the free flow of flood water.
It said, “Closer attention should also be paid to NiMet’s daily weather forecasts and alerts. It is further advised that relevant agencies should perfect their emergency evacuation plans and activate them as soon as necessary.
“NiMet will continue to monitor the rainfall pattern as well as general weather conditions across the country and issue updates from time to time.”
On Saturday, the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA announced that flood alerts from the Republic of Niger, on the rise in the water level of its river, had shown that any time from now, Nigeria might suffer severe floods.
It stated that research had shown that the looming flood might be similar to what was experienced in many states in 2012, which began in July that year and killed 363 people, while over 2.1 million others were displaced.
NEMA described the 2012 floods as the worst in 40 years, as it affected an estimated total of seven million people while the damages and losses caused by the floods were put at N2.6tn.