The death toll from Nigeria’s worst floods in a decade has risen to more than 600, the country’s Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs tweeted on Sunday.
According to the ministry, more than 2 million people have been affected by widespread flooding in southern parts of the country after a particularly wet rainy season.
The ministry added that more than 200,000 homes have been completely or partially damaged.
Earlier this month, Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency warned of severe flooding in states along the Niger and Benue rivers, warning that three of Nigeria’s overflowing reservoirs would overflow. NEMA said the release of excess water from a dam in neighboring Cameroon caused the floods.
Although many parts of Nigeria are prone to annual floods, some areas have experienced more severe flooding. The last major flood was in 2012, a Red Cross official in Kogi told CNN last week.
NASA images show the decimating reach of the region’s biggest flood in a decade
Nigeria’s Minister of Human Affairs, Sadiya Umar Farouq, warned on Sunday that more flooding is possible and urged regional governments to prepare accordingly.
“We are already calling on State Governments, Local Government Councils and Communities to prepare for further flooding by evacuating people living in flood plains to higher ground, providing tents and relief materials, fresh water and medical supplies in case of a possible flood. -transmitted diseases,” the ministry of humanitarian affairs said on Twitter on Sunday.
The country will soon implement a National Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan aimed at improving the coordination of flood response efforts.
According to the ministry, “relief has gone to all the states of the federation”, and “many state governments did not prepare for the floods”.
A delegation organized by the ministry will visit state governors across the country to suggest strengthening of states’ flood response mechanisms.