The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency has warned the public to be on alert of possible flooding due to the high intensity of rainfall across the country.
Ahmed Bashar, the Acting Director-General of NIHSA, gave the warning in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja.
Bashar said that the warning became imperative due to the flooding incidents being experienced in some parts of the country.
He said that said the months of July, August and September, otherwise known as ‘JAS months” remained a critical period of flooding in the country.
According to him, the 2018 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) released earlier in the year by the agency gave September 28 as the earliest cessation date of rainfall in Sokoto and Katsina states.
He, however, said that December remained the earliest cessation date for the southern coastal cities.
Bashar said: “In the light of the above, NIHSA wishes to inform the general public that the country is still at the peak of rains, and should be prepared in the event of any flooding incidents.
“The localised urban flooding incidents being experienced in some parts of the country are expected to continue due to the high rainfall intensity.
“States and lLocal governments should endeavour to remove structures built within the flood plains, clear blocked drainages, culverts and other waterways.’’
Bashar said that the flood level and the discharge of River Niger had continued to increase, adding that the public must take caution to avert any serious losses.
He said: “A flood level (stage height) of 9.67m and a discharge of 20,578m3/s had been recorded as at today.”
Bashar said the above figure was higher than the corresponding values of 9.34m and 19,456m3/s recorded on Sept. 5, 2012, adding that this year had witnessed the worst devastating flood incidents in recent history.
Bashar, therefore, called for more vigilance around the banks and flood plains of River Niger following the unfolding threat posed by Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro dams.
He said the earlier warning that some states — Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Kogi, Edo, Anambra, Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa — stood the risk of experiencing river flooding remained unchanged.
He also noted that the water levels were rising on both Rivers Niger and Benue respectively.
He, however, said that the report should not pose widespread panic as the Cameroonian government had yet to release water from Lagdo Dam.
The acting director general, however, assured the general public that NIHSA would continue to monitor the trends in the levels of water in major rivers and issue warning alerts appropriately.