By Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
The Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) yesterday issued red alert on Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Bornu, Cross River, Delta, Kaduna, Kwara, Nasarawa, Yobe and Zamfara States on flooding in the month of August.
The agency advised relevant government agencies to perfect and activate their emergency evacuation plans as soon as possible.
In a statement made available to journalists in Abuja yesterday, the agency said the soil moisture in these states has reached saturation level because of the cumulative high rainfall intensity in the last two months.
“Soil moisture has either reached saturation, or near saturation levels, due to cumulative high intensity rainfall in some parts of the country in June and July.
“NIMET in exercise of its mandate to monitor the weather and climate of the country at all times and working in collaboration with the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), has been monitoring rainfall events across the country,” the statement noted.
The agency said after a thorough analyses of rainfall data from its observatories nationwide for June and July, it became necessary to issue the alert to the public, especially those in the affected areas.
It said: “This means that floods should be expected in these areas because the soil is no longer able to absorb more rainwater in the coming weeks which coincide with the peak of the rainy season,” it stated.
NIMET recalled that its 2016 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) stated that while many parts of the country would experience lower than-normal total rainfall due to the effect of El Nino, flooding could still be experienced in such areas; particularly those that are naturally prone to flooding.
The statement added that NIMET would continue to monitor the rainfall pattern and the weather conditions across the country, stating that it would issue updates from time to time.