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Lagos Flood Is Most Devastating -NEMA DG…As 15 Declared Dead

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Of all the parts of Nigeria hit by flood in the country this year, the one which happened in Lagos on Sunday is most devastating. This is as the death toll resulting from the incident hit 15. The Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency, Muhammad Sani-Sidi, said this while lamenting the level of the flood that ravaged the entire Lagos state resulting in the governor of the state, Babatunde Fashola, declaring a public holiday for school children to avoid any disaster that may result from the flood which is yet to abate.

 Sani-Sidi who engaged in an on-the-spot assessment of areas affected by the flood, said the devastation resulted from heavy downpour, blockage of water channels and drainages, indiscriminate dumping of refuse and building of houses along channels.

He promised government intervention after officials of the Agency would have assessed the level of damage caused by the flood. Fifteen people have so far died from the

 flood in the state. Of the number recorded so far, five were said to have died after they were forced to sleep in a dingy room, poorly ventilated as the rains and flood could not allow them go home from a small eatery in highbrow Allen, where they sold food for a woman, whose name could not be ascertained. Neighbours who witnessed the conveyance of the corpse to the Area F Police station in Ikeja, explained that the girls who could not be more than 18 years old and baby who should be a few months old, could not go home after the rain held them hostage. The owner of the restaurant, who cried profusely at the station, said: "My girls don't usually sleep in the restaurant. I did not know that they slept in the restaurant yesterday. I asked them to cook outside the restaurant when they phoned me and said that water had entered the restaurant. "This morning, as I kept calling them, nobody was picking. I was worried and someone picked the call and told

 me that my girls are dead. I rushed here to confirm it. I can't believe what I am seeing." The girls, whose corpse have been deposited at the morgue were brought by the woman from the Republic of Benin to assist her in her business.

 The other 10 corpses were said to have been picked from different locations in the Iyana-Ipaja and Ayobo-Ipaja areas of the state. Three houses were destroyed in Ajegunle while over nine buildings were destroyed as a result of the flood in Oregun areas of the state.  Another area majorly affected by the flood is Oshodi. The situation in Oregun and Oshodi got out of hand when hoodlums took advantage of the flood and scavenged homes that were flooded, carting away properties while the owners battled to save their lives. In Ogba, a source told that people were swimming in the flood. "The Area G Command was flooded almost to the roof and those caught in the flood had to start swimming in order to save

 themselves from the dying. Properties and goods sold by businessmen were damaged. My car was submerged and I had to abandon it and run away before I would be carried by the flood," Ikechukwu Uche, said. In Agege and Orile-Iganmu, two of the dirtiest places in Lagos, the flood washed dirts and unkept gutters into living houses. Residents are currently scared of an epidemic as a result of the situation. A visit to the area showed serious havoc wreaked on the area. Rooms of houses were flooded and properties washed away in the flood. Roofs of some houses were also affected. The Island of Lagos was not spared by the flood which resulted from the rain that started at 5am and lasted till mid night. From Lekki to the Lagos Island, vehicles were buried in the flood as its closeness to the sea did not help matters.

 One of the residents of the area whose Toyota Prado SUV was stopped by the flood on his way from church with his family, was seen Monday afternoon

 trying to fix the vehicle. According to him, they left the car in the flood and had to trek a distance of over three kilometres home in the flood. When went round the state Monday morning, schools within the hinterland which desperately desired government presence were further ravaged. The effect of the flood was conspicuous. Most people who spoke on the incident said they had to trek long distances after spending a long time at bus stops waiting for buses to no avail.

They also lamented the situation in the state saying that despite the billions of naira spent on the state, nothing much seemed to have been done. "Just one incident of flood and all that they think makes the state thick are giving way. Is that what is supposed to be?" Tunde Idowu, a resident of Ijaiye where a road was said to have caved in asked. Apart from residents who decried the situation, the government also called on the residents to maintain being indoors

 throughout Monday as the impact of the flood may result in casualties. A statement signed by the state Commissioner of the Environment, Tunji Bello, stated that the government did not envisage the extent of the rain even though it had warned of heavy rains this year.