President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria said on Sunday that almost everyone aboard a boat perished after it crashed in a river flooded by flooding.
On Friday, the overloaded boat capsized while carrying 85 passengers due to floods in the Niger River.
Buhari’s office cited him as stating, “The boat purportedly carrying 85 people crashed after increasing floodwaters in the Ogbaru region of the state, with emergency services confirming a total dead count of 76.”
He gave the emergency services instructions to assist the victims.
I pray for everyone’s safety, the eternal rest of the deceased, and the welfare of the families of those who perished in this awful catastrophe, he said.
On Sunday morning, the emergency services reported that the increasing water level impeded rescue operations.
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The National Emergency Management Agency’s (NEMA) southeast coordinator Thickman Tanimu told AFP that the water level was “extremely high and very unsafe for a successful search and rescue effort.”
With the water level around one-tenth greater than a decade earlier, he said the flooding was the worst the nation has experienced in years.
NEMA sought helicopters from the Nigerian Air Force for the rescue effort.
Governor of Anambra State Charles Soludo advised people to leave flood-damaged regions and promised the government would help those the calamity had impacted.
“The Anambra State administration and its fine citizens are still in shock over this occurrence. I am sorry for the families of those who were affected “in a statement, Soludo.
Because of overloading, velocity, poor maintenance, and contempt for maritime laws, boat accidents often happen in Nigeria.
The country of more than 200 million people in West Africa has seen widespread flooding since the beginning of the rainy season.
According to the emergency services, more than 300 people have died, and at least 100,000 have become homeless.
Fears of food shortages, starvation, and hunger raise in a nation already dealing with the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak and the conflict in Ukraine due to the constant rain that has washed away fields and crops.