The death toll has risen to 18 due to the floods caused by persistent rainfall in central Nigeria, a local official, has confirmed.

Confirming the figure to reporters, Ibrahim Inga, head of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency in Nigeria’s central region, said eight more deaths were recorded recently.

On October 16, Inga had earlier confirmed 10 deaths recorded over the past two months as the floods wreaked havoc in the state.

So far, 41,959 people have been displaced due to the disaster, the official said.

The floods, as a result of a localized high-intensity rainfall accompanied by torrential winds since August, also triggered massive run-off activities in streams and rivers in the state.

“The combined effect of the micro-climate trend and severe rainfall regime upstream of rivers Niger and Kaduna increased inflow in the basin, which resulted in the spillage of the water from the three hydropower dams,” Inga told reporters.

He said 2,714 houses had been destroyed so far by the disaster. The flood swept through 20 local government areas, with 152 communities submerged.

The floods also badly damaged roads, bridges, culverts and other buildings, the official said.

Inga said the excess waters had inundated several hectares of farmlands and displaced some dwellers in hinterland communities.

The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, which is responsible for issuing flood alerts here, had since early August issued an alert over possible flooding due to the high intensity of rainfall across the country.

The hydrological body said the flooding incidents were due to high rainfall intensity of long duration, rainstorms, blockage of drainage systems and poor urban planning resulting from the erection of structures within the floodplains and waterways.

This year, Nigeria’s 36 states and the federal capital territory, Abuja, would witness different levels of flooding, the hydrological body predicted.

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