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Expect heavy rain in Ondo, Ogun, Osun, 26 others, NIMET alerts

Thunderstorms and strong winds will accompany heavy rains that will be experienced in the Federal Capital Territory(FCT) and 29 states in the next three days, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted.

The states are Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Edo, Rivers Cross River, Ebonyi, Abia, Imo, Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom. Kogi, Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kano, Jigawa, Yobe, Borno, Adamawa, Bauchi, Kogi, Taraba and Gombe .

About half of the states in the North and the FCT will be worst hit by the three-day rainfall which, NIMet said, would cause flash floods, poor visibility and damage to weak structures.

It, therefore, advised people “to avoid flood waters and standing or parking cars under trees. Emergency agencies, like the National Emergency Management Agencies (NEMA), to be prepared.

The agency stated these in its ‘Heavy Rainfall Forecast Bulletin’, which was released hours after the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) dismissed the belief that Cameroon’s Lagdo Dam contributes heavily to flooding in Nigeria.

Part of the NiMet bulletin reads: “During the forecast period (the next three days), moderate to heavy rainfall is expected to affect parts of Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger, the FCT, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kano, Jigawa, Yobe, Borno, Adamawa, Bauchi, Kogi, Taraba, Cross River, Ebonyi, Abia, Imo, Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Ogun, Ondo, Edo, Osun, Gombe and Rivers State.

“Generally, the rains are expected to be moderate to heavy, accompanied by strong winds and thunderstorms.

“There are good chances of hydrometeorological hazards such as flash flooding of roads and low-lying settlements; disruption of traffic, reduction in visibility, and damage to weak structures by strong winds

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It blamed the development on flash floods, poorly constructed or lack of proper flood channels and inadequate drainage systems across the country.

Director-General of the agency Clement Nze told reporters that the Lagdo Dam was closed a few hours after the Cameroonian authorities opened it on Monday.

Nze, who gave no reason for the decision by Cameroon, explained that even if the Lagdo Dam were to collapse, its impact would not go past Numan in Adamawa State.

His words: “The Lagdo Dam is located on the Benue River in the Niger Basin. The Cameroonian authorities commenced release of excess water from Lagdo Dam by 10.10 am on August 14, 2023.

“The release of water from the Dam commenced at the rate of 200 cubic metres per second, which is about 18 million cubic metres of water per day.

“By 25th August 2023, the water releases from the reservoir has reduced to 50 cubic metres per second, which is a normal reservoir operation and far negligible to cause any flooding downstream.

“However, by 5.16 pm yesterday(Monday), the Hydrologist in charge of the dam notified the Director General of NIHSA that they stopped spilling water by 11.00 am that same yesterday(Monday).”.

The director-general said the agency would continue to monitor water flows in rivers Niger and Benue, saying readings by the agency showed no threat of floods.

Nze appealed for calm from the public, saying that flood warnings had been given to the states affected adversely since February.

The NIHSA chief advocated the construction of earth dams on the tributaries of the Niger and Benue rivers as well as the speedy completion of the Kashimbila Dam in Adamawa State.

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He also clarified that the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Nigeria and Cameron does not require Cameroon to inform Nigeria before releasing water from the Lagdo Dam.

Nze said severe flooding with attendant damage and deaths could be minimised when relevant authorities took responsibility for preparedness and ensured that people don’t build on flood plains.

Meanwhile, the Edo and Taraba state governments have again advised residents of flood-prone areas to relocate.

Edo listed Agenebode in Etsako East, Anegbete in Etsako Central, Illushi in Esan South East,

Ikpoba Okha, Ovia North-East and Ovia South-West as Local Governments that would be most affected by the impending flood.

Taraba, on its part, said Karim-Lamido, Lau, Ardo-Kola, Gassol, Wukari and Ibbi councils are dangerous areas

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