ABUJA, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Nigerian authorities on Wednesday issued flood alerts to 13 out of the 19 northern states in the country, calling for vigilance and emergency response plans to be activated to prevent impending disaster.
The alert comes as a proactive measure to mitigate potential flooding disasters and ensure the safety of communities in view of the heavy rainfall witnessed across the northern region, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said in a statement issued in the southwestern state of Lagos.
The agency said at least 50 communities, mainly up north, are likely to witness heavy rainfall that may lead to flooding between Sept. 13 and 17.
States across Nigeria have recently witnessed heavy rainfall, leading to rising water levels in rivers and streams while raising concerns about the possibility of flooding in low-lying areas.
Due to the rise in the water levels of Benue River and Niger River, communities along the two rivers, up to the oil-rich state of Bayelsa, were advised to take precautionary measures in the coming days, the NEMA statement said.
The Nigerian government recently assured citizens that all necessary resources would be deployed to support flood response efforts and provide relief to affected communities.
Last year, at least 662 people were killed and more than 2.4 million others were displaced by floods in different parts of the country, according to data from the NEMA. ■