Widespread flooding has killed more than 500 people in Nigeria, left around 90,000 homes under water, and blocked food and fuel supplies, two government ministries said in an online posting on Friday.
The floods, which have built since early summer, have hit 27 of Nigeria’s 36 states and impacted around 1.4 million people, the ministries for humanitarian affairs and for disaster management also said.
“The scale of the disaster … is colossal,” Mustapha Habib Ahmed, director general of the National Emergency Management Agency, added in a statement.
On Thursday, drone footage in Lokoja, which sits in the north-central Kogi state at the confluence of the Niger and Benue rivers and has suffered weeks of flooding, showed dozens of submerged homes and businesses.
“I have never seen such a thing,” local resident Khalid Yahaya Othman told Reuters as he looked at his submerged fuel tanks and nearby waterlogged streets.
“When this water was coming, we never envisaged that it will come and over cover the tank,” he said
State oil company NNPC blamed the floods, which blocked a key road out of Lokoja, for a fuel shortage in the capital, Abuja.
Federal Road Safety official Koton Karfe said the floods had impeded traffic for at least two weeks.