Nigeria: 76 dead after boat capsizes in Anambra state
By Olanrewaju Kola
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AA): The death toll in a boat accident in southeastern Nigeria has risen to 76, officials said Sunday.
A vessel with 85 people capsized due to heavy flooding in Ogbaru, an area in the state of Anambra, on Friday.
Garba Shehu, a spokesman for Nigeria’s President, said authorities have confirmed the death toll after nearly two days of rescue efforts.
He said searches are still underway for any missing passengers.
President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered emergency services and relevant agencies to ensure strict safety checks to prevent future accidents, the spokesman added.
“I pray for the repose of the souls of the victims and for everyone’s safety, as well as the well-being of the family members of the victims of this tragic accident,” he said.
According to local media reports, the boat’s engine had stalled and it capsized due to powerful waves.
Officials, though, are yet to confirm the cause of the accident.
According to Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency, heavy rainfall and flooding since May has impacted more than 500,000 people in almost 30 of the country’s 36 states.
It has warned that dams are overflowing and will likely cause more damage in several areas.
The agency said thousands of hectares of agricultural land has already been destroyed, while around 100,000 people have been displaced.
[Map of Nigeria by CIA Factbook/Public Domain]
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