Extreme Weather 

Flooding kills 49 in northern Nigeria, “a shift in rainfall patterns” to blame

Flooding caused by torrential rains on Nigeria’s border with Niger has left 49 people dead, another 20 missing and more than 500 homes destroyed, the emergency services said on Tuesday.

Towns and villages in Jibia district were affected after a river burst its banks after hours of heavy rains overnight Sunday, Aminu Waziri, the head of the Katsina state emergency management agency, told AFP.

“Some of the victims were pulled from the rubble of their collapsed homes,” said Waziri.

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More than 500 houses were destroyed while thousands of people have been rendered homeless, Aminu Masari, the governor of Katsina, told reporters.

“The water from the river moved in a reverse order and came back to the town and caused the flooding,” he said.

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has warned that many parts of the country are likely to experience flooding this year due to a “shift in rainfall patterns.”

The Director-General of NiMet, Prof. Sani Mashi, said that distortions had occurred in the pattern of rainfall leading to an increase in the amount of rain that was expected in the country.

He continued to explain that in line with NiMet’s 2018 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP), substaintially higher than average rain was likely to fall between last week of July and the end of August.

“The ground cannot comfortably contain and absorb the water resulting in so much water on the surface,” Mashi said.

Torrential rain is forecast in the area for the rest of the week.

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