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Nigeria Floods Kill Hundreds, Displace Millions

November 5, 2012 by Brett Wilkins in Africa with 0 Comments

Severe flooding in Nigeria has claimed at least 363 lives and displaced at least 2.1 million people in the West African nation in recent months.

The Associated Press reports that Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency announced the grim toll on Monday as the nation’s annual rainy season approached its end. Flooding has ravaged Nigeria since July, with the worst damage occurring in the states of Adamawa and Kogi.

Heavier than normal annual rains caused officials in Nigeria and neighboring Cameroon to open dams to reduce the strain, resulting in even greater damage. Reuters reports that entire towns and cities have been inundated.

The flooding is being called the worst to strike Nigeria in at least half a century.

Dangerous animals, including snakes, crocodiles and hippos, have ended up in the homes of many flood-stricken Nigerians as they, too, attempt to survive the rising waters.

“There is now a hippopotamus in [my] house,” Wuese Jirake, a resident of Benue state, told the BBC. “I hope that when it is tired, it may leave my home.”

Although Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has declared a national disaster, he said that the floods should not cause a food crisis.

Flooding in the Niger Delta in the south has disrupted oil production. Around 500,000 fewer barrels per day are being produced due to the disaster, which has also adversely affected cocoa farming.

The floods have also taken a heavy toll on neighboring Cameroon, where dozens of people have been killed.

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