More than 600 people have died in the floods in Nigeria, according to official figures.

Flood water overflows the banks of a river and overwhelms a settlement in Lokoja, Nigeria on October 13, 2022.

Afolabi Sothunde | Reuters

According to the country’s Department of Humanitarian Affairs, more than 600 people have died and more than 1.3 million have been forced from their homes as a result of the worst floods that Nigeria has experienced in the past ten years.

Thousands of homes and large swaths of farmland, roads and other vital infrastructure were damaged or destroyed. Large-scale flooding was caused by an emergency precipitation and release of water from the Lagdo dam in Nigeria’s neighboring Cameroon.

Nigeria put forward a national response plan for state and local governments and provided food and supplies to the states. The flooding has affected 27 of Nigeria’s 36 states, with weeks of flooding expected, officials said.

Mattias Schmale, UN humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, said climate change played a role in worsening the flooding. Rising temperatures have caused more evaporation in the atmosphere, resulting in more frequent and intense precipitation and droughts.

“Climate change is real and we are finding it again in Nigeria,” Schmale said at a press briefing last week.

Flood water bursts from the bank and floods a road near the bank of a river in Lokoja, Nigeria, on October 13, 2022.

Ayodeji Oluvagbemiga | Reuters

Sadia Oumar Farouk, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, said this week that states and local governments have not taken appropriate action to prepare for extreme flooding despite forecasts and urged local communities to listen to climate forecasts.

Farouk also urged officials to prepare for new floods by evacuating people living in floodplains, uplands, and providing communities with tents, humanitarian supplies and medical supplies.

“Warnings and information about the 2022 flood have been sufficient, but states, local governments and communities seem to be paying no heed,” the minister tweeted Monday.

Flood waters inundated numerous communities along the banks of the Niger and Benue rivers, as well as Lokoya, the capital of Kogi state, according to satellite imagery provided by NASA.

Cars are flooded at a gas station in Lokoja, Nigeria on October 13, 2022.

Afolabi Sothunde | Reuters

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