Some Lagos residents were displaced and property destroyed after flood swept through different parts of the state on Thursday following torrential rainfall.
While a four-year-old girl, identified simply as Azizat, was swept away by flood, a woman was killed after her house collapsed due to the intensity of the rain.
Several persons were also reportedly injured and rushed to different hospitals after their houses collapsed.
PUNCH Metro gathered that Azizat, who resided with her parents on Fashola Street, Papa Ashafa, Orile Agege, had attempted to flee with her family when the flood submerged the compound.
She was said to have fallen into a drainage channel and was swept away by the floodwater.
The incident was said to have thrown residents into panic, as they lamented the rate at which their houses were flooded by the downpour, which started on Wednesday.
Our correspondents were told that officials of the National Emergency Management Agency and the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency had commenced a search-and-rescue operation for Azizat.
Also in Orile Agege, PUNCH Metro gathered that a yet-to-be-identified woman and her daughter sustained injuries after their residence on Hassan Adejobi Street was submerged by flood.
The fence of the house was said to have collapsed on the six-room boys’ quarter, where the victims live around 6am.
Our correspondents learnt that the flood also dislodged occupants of a 10-room bungalow in the compound.
On Unity Close in the Magodo area of the state, an unidentified woman was reported to have lost her life after a building collapsed in the area.
The Public Relations Officer of LASEMA, Nosa Okunbor, said the woman’s corpse had been deposited in a morgue before the arrival of the agency’s response team.
“A fence collapsed on a storey building as a result of mudslide, thereby making the entire area vulnerable to collapse,” he stated.
At the Ashade Quarter, Agege, two persons, including a pregnant woman, were reportedly rescued when four buildings collapsed.
The foundations of many buildings were said to have been weakened by the heavy downpour.
In the Iyana Ipaja area, some residents of Sadiku Street reportedly sustained varying degrees of injury after their house partially collapsed during Thursday’s downpour.
It was gathered that the adjoining fence to the staircase of the building, which consisted of eight rooms, 23 shops and a store, collapsed around 11am and also affected the toilet of the adjacent building.
Our correspondents gathered that emergency responders at the scene rescued the victims.
In the Abraham Adesanya Estate area of the Lekki-Epe Expressway, floodwater slowed down vehicular movement, which led to gridlock that made motorists spend hours for a journey that should have lasted minutes.
A commercial driver, Abdulkareem Adedeji, said, “The downpour was much. The road was flooded and it caused gridlock that made motorists spend roughly over an hour from the Jubilee Bridge to the Abraham Adesanya Estate junction.
“The downpour also affected some parts of the Awoyaya area of Ajah. I conveyed a passenger from Awoyaya to a destination in the state, but on my way back, we ran into gridlock and spent hours in it.”
Another resident of the area, who made a video of how flood submerged the road, asked residents to be careful when driving.
“My people, this is Lekki, Abraham Adesanya. As you can see, it’s no joke. Those of you going to work, be ready for war when coming back. This is what we call war at Abraham Adesanya,” he said.
A music executive, Ubi Franklin, who took to his social media handle on Thursday, lamented that the rain wreaked havoc on his house.
Franklin, while chronicling the incident on his Instagram page, said his personal assistant woke him up around 5.30am to inform him that his house was flooded after the roof caved in.
“The roof came off, POP soaked and it was raining directly into one of the guest rooms upstairs and luckily, the person sleeping in the room was not hurt. Stay safe guys. I dey here dey swim for my house. Thank God we are all safe and no one was hurt,” he wrote.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouk, urged parents and guardians to caution their children and wards against playing in the rain or running water.
She also appealed to Nigerians to relocate to higher grounds as soon as they notice that drainage channels and canals were overflowing.
The acting Coordinator, NEMA, Ibrahim Farinloye, attributed the floodwater to blocked drainage channels.
He said, “Generally, most of the collapsed buildings are old structures and there is a need for an urban renewal approach. New approvals for construction of buildings, especially in the Lekki/Ajah area, should ensure that the level of the buildings should be up to five metres above the ground and rain water should be able to drain into the channels.
“In most cases, we see that there is no spillage of water from buildings into drainage channels. Also, in most of the estates, drainages have been covered up and water from different houses is causing so much damage to roads.
“The government needs to take definite action against such buildings, especially in the GRAs and estates, where drainages have been provided but have been cemented.”
The Director-General, LASEMA, Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, said the agency was talking to stakeholders on ways of tackling flood in the state.
He stated, “In order to generate adequate and effective mitigation plans against flooding this year, with the prediction of heavy rainfall, LASEMA employed technology to determine the land area of the council areas at high risk of flood measured in kilometres, and estimated per local government.
“The requisite data has enabled LASEMA to adequately perform its planning function, conduct hazard vulnerability analysis for the state by deploying geographic information systems, mapping the state and determining the disasters to which the state is prone, with empirical results from the hazard vulnerability analysis indicating that the state is vulnerable to flooding in most parts.”
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Drainage and Water Resources, Joe Igbokwe, said the government was building drainage channels to reduce flooding in the state.
He, however, stated that some residents were compounding the problem by dumping refuse in drainage channels and building on flood planes and prohibited areas.
He stated, “The rain was heavy throughout Wednesday night till this afternoon (Thursday), so being a coastal city, you should expect flooding. We are doing more of the work now and not talking. We are dealing with all the problems. We are not making excuses.
“We are working on 222 secondary channels; we have completed 146. We are working on 46 primary channels, which discharge into the lagoon. As we speak, we are building 44 concrete drains. Two are ongoing and others have been awarded. We are doing all these to minimise flooding in Lagos.”