By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
ABUJA (Worthy News) – Authorities in Nigeria struggled Monday to get relief to more than a million people displaced by the country’s deadliest flooding in a decade.
Officials said the death toll rose to 603, with hundreds of thousands evacuating from their submerged homes.
Over 1.3 million people were displaced by the disaster, which has affected people across 33 of Nigeria’s 36 states, the nation’s humanitarian affairs ministry said late Sunday.
At least 340,000 hectares of land also have been affected, worsening fears of food supply disruptions.
An armed conflict, which also impacts Christians, already threatened production in the northwest and central regions of Nigeria, which produce much of what the country eats.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari directed “all concerned to work for the restoration of normalcy,” according to a statement issued by the presidency.
MORE FLOODING FEARED
Nigeria has annual flooding, but this is the most serious in recent memory due to the release of excess water from the Lagdo dam in neighboring Cameroon and heavy rainfall.
More flooding was expected in Nigeria as it braces for more high-intensity rain.
The disaster worsened a humanitarian crisis in Nigeria where armed violence, especially in the troubled northern region, already displaced more than 3 million people, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center.
Authorities expressed concern about a possible outbreak of water-borne diseases.
While climate activists blame climate change, experts also cite illegal construction near waterways as a suspected cause for the high level of flood damage.
Local officials allegedly allowed the construction in exchange for bribes, a persistent problem in the impoverished African nation.