Three Dead, Six Missing, As Storm Hits Philippines

Residents ride on a makeshift raft as they cross a flooded main street in Manila on September 12.
TED ALJIBE / AFP

At least three people died and six were missing after a major storm caused widespread flooding in and around the Philippine capital on Tuesday, forcing schools, government offices and businesses to shut down.

The tropical depression, which left some people wading through chest-deep waters outside Manila, was the latest to hit the Southeast Asian archipelago, which endures about 20 such storms each year.

Most of the dead and missing were poor people forced to live in identified “danger zones” despite government warnings of the risks they face during storms.

“Our local authorities had continuously warned them that their place was really prone to landslides but they insisted on staying,” said civil defence officer Ronnie Mateo after the rain caused a landslide that fatally buried two teenage brothers just east of Manila.

A 12-year-old girl drowned in a rain-swollen river in a Manila suburb, city officials said.

The storm, locally codenamed “Maring”, hit the eastern town of Mauban before moving northwest across the main island of Luzon and passing just beside Manila, the government weather station said.

In Calamba City south of Manila a flash flood washed away a riverside shanty, leaving six inhabitants including a two-year-old missing.

“They were informal settlers, living beside a river. There was a flash flood and it washed out their two storey-house,” said Noriel Habana, head of the city’s disaster management office.

“In previous floodings, we had pre-emptive evacuation. It just so happened it was a flash flood and they had no time to react,” he told AFP.

Forecaster Renito Paciente said Maring, packing gusts of 100 kilometres (62 miles) per hour, was moving at just 15 kilometres per hour, worsening the flooding.

“Because it moves slowly, it can bring more rain over an area,” he told AFP.

Mark Timbal, spokesman for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said local governments had ordered the evacuation of residents from low-lying, coastal and landslide-prone areas.

He could not immediately give a total for those forced to flee.

The Philippine islands are often the first major land mass to be hit by storms that generate over the Pacific Ocean, bringing frequent death and misery.

In one of the worst recent incidents, 7,350 people were left dead or missing after super-typhoon Haiyan struck the central Philippines in November 2013.

AFP

PHOTOS: Amosun Inspects Road Projects As Govt Moves To Tackle Flooding

The perennial flooding challenge experienced by residents of Yakoyo, Akute, Ajuwon, Sango Axis of Ogun State may soon be over.

This is considering the massive roads and bridges construction the state government is putting in that area as part of its mission to rebuild the state.

The contractors have also been briefed to intensify the road construction in the area to complement the bridge construction.

Governor Ibikunle Amosun paid a visit to those areas to inspect some of the projects and ascertain the progress of work done.

Lagos Govt To Repair 43 Major Roads, Tackle Flooding

File photo

The Lagos State government on Sunday unveiled its roadmap targeted at maintaining and rehabilitating roads across the state as well as comprehensive drainage maintenance and flood control programme between august and December 2017.

The Special Adviser to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Public Works and Drainages, Temiday Erinle, reeled out the roadmap at a press briefing held at the Bagauda Kaltho press centre in Alausa.

Erinle said in the coming days, the state government, through the Public Works Corporation, would carry out rehabilitation works on 43 major link roads across the state, while other major highways and arterial roads found to be in a bad state would be fixed.

He added that the state government was well aware of the challenges being experienced by commuters on Lagos roads and that Governor Ambode had already repositioned the corporation to comprehensively address the issues relating to potholes and drainages in the state.

“As you are all aware, we are presently in the rainy season, as such much cannot be done during this period. However, we are currently carrying out palliative works on our major roads through the application of boulders, crushed stones and other construction materials to address the potholes problems in order not to paralyse the economic activities of the state.

“Similarly, we also take advantage of some dry days to carry out repair works in an effort to reduce traffic gridlock on Lekki-Epe Expressway between Adetokunbo Ademola Samuel, a section of Ikorodu road between the new and old pedestrian bridges inward-Maryland, Ikorodu road, Ketu bus stop and Ikuomola street, Idimu Alimosho Local Government Area.

“Asides that, I want to assure the people that immediately the rain subsides, the lagos state public works corporation will embark on massive road maintenance and repairs of all major highways and arterial roads found to be in bad state.”

Erinle noted that apart from the 43 major link roads to be repaired in coming days, engineers of the corporation have also been sent out to identify other failed spots across the state, assuring that the state government was determined to fix all potholes to bring about seamless driving experience to motorists.

He listed some of the roads to include: Alfred Rewane Road, Ikoyi on which work according to him, has already commenced; Sina Ogunbanwo Street, Agric road Oko-oba, Ifako Ijaiye; Club road off osborne road, Ikoyi; Oroke drive, Ikoyi, Eti-Osa LGA; Central Avenue, Apapa; north avenue, Apapa; Maybin road, Apapa; Lateef Jakande road, Ikeja; Gberibe road, Ikorodu; Tos Benson road, Ikorodu; Oke Sabo along Imota; Itamaga, Itoikin; Oba Sekumaderd, Ogolonto, Ikorodu; Adeniran Ogunsanya road Ikorodu; Admiralty way, Lekki Eti-osa; Topo Inward Ajido, Badagry; Hospital road, Badagry and Ijesha road network, Surulere among many others.

While reeling out the plans of the state government to control flooding, Erinle said work has already commenced in earnest to deflood the state, adding that in a bid to forestall flooding as witnessed few weeks back due to torrential rainfall which led to high intensity of about 465mm of water within five days, the state has been divided into five zones namely Alimosho, Ikeja, Mushin, Kosofe, Agege, Ifako-Ijaiye, Oshodi-Isolo and Somolu (zone 1); Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Amuwo Odofin, Ojo and Badagry (zone 2); Ikorodu (zone 3); Apapa, Surulere, Lagos Island, mainland and Eti-osa (zone 4); and Ibeju Lekki and Epe (zone 5).

Furthermore, Erinle said in all the five zones, dredging of primary channels and outfalls as well as clearing/cleaning of collector and tertiary (street) drains have been carried out and are still ongoing, while a drainage master plan which covers the entire state has been developed to improve on the earlier four master plans.

Under the new comprehensive master plan, Erinle explained that 169 primary channels/outfalls have been identified, while all the recommendations in the plan were being implemented in phases.

“I wish to reassure lagosians that the corporation will not rest on its oars to ensure that the people continue to enjoy pot-hole free roads and drastic reduction in the incidences of flooding in lagos state,” he stated.

 

Benue Residents Tackle Flooding As Agency Raises Alarm

Residents of Makurdi, the Benue State capital, have begun voluntary sanitation activities to avert the 2017 flood prediction by the Nigerian Hydrological Agency.

The agency had predicted that there would be flooding in Thirty states of the federation, including Benue.

Those participating in the exercise who are mainly youths say the voluntary sanitation activities, which also include an awareness campaign to worst hit settlement like Abinse and Fidii, is part of their contribution to support government’s effort in ensuring a clean environment.

Residents of Akpehe in the Wurukum axis of Makurdi on Friday witnessed flash flooding, with the rising water level from River Benue, a major contributory factor to flooding in Benue.

“In the previous years, Benue suffered a great deal from the aftermath of flooding with a good number of citizens internally displaced and forced to live in informal camps as there were no official camps set up for them,” the spokesperson for the volunteers, Mr Laz Apir, said.

“Sadly, some primary schools had to bear the brunt of being shut down for weeks and even months. It is against this background that we have undertaken to create awareness ahead of the impending flood as warned by the Nigerian Hydrological Agency.”

While the state government has ensured major canals and drains have been kept clean, some residents whose drainages had become blocked, also rolled up their sleeves.

As the volunteers clear up blocked drains along the Makurdi-Gboko road, some of them offered advice about how to manage flash flood.

One of the participants, Rachel Unom, and the team leader, Mr Tersoo Akuler, spoke about what they were doing and how to keep the state safe.

“Sometimes, the government is over burdened with work and as citizens, we need to help in our own little ways,” they said.

They explained that in order to complement the government’s efforts, they first created awareness at Abinse and Fidii communities.

The team spoke to the people about floods and educated them on what to do during flooding.

The rising level of River Benue is a source of concern for residents

One of the things to do, according to them, is to prevent people from converting the drainage system into a refuse dump.

“We feel that government should be supported through this period of flood scare to inspire it to do more. So, what we are doing basically is, creating awareness on when people should vacate flood-prone areas and clearing the channels through which water will pass in order to stop it from overflowing its banks,” they said.

“We hope that the mapping of household by the Federal government this year will provide an indication of how many people the flood will affect because there is already a baseline data for that.”

They advised that the management and disposal of waste by residents and traders should be keenly monitored to ensure that canals don’t get blocked and function appropriately.

Flooding: Lagos To Re-engineer Canals, Drainage Systems – Ambode

Ambode Lagos
File Photo: Akinwunmi Ambode

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday said the flooding caused by torrential rainfalls in the state within the last few days will soon be a thing of the past.

Governor Ambode assured residents that the state government was working towards embarking on holistic solutions to address the situation once and for all.

He gave the assurance in Ikeja at a sensitisation workshop on water management and environmental control, a prelude to a Water Technology and Environmental Control (WATEC) exhibition expected to hold in Israel later in the year.

The governor said aside from the fact that the issue of flooding was a global phenomenon, urgent steps were being taken to tackle the challenge in a holistic manner and protect Lagos State from future re-occurrence.

He empathised with the flood victims and said that it was painful to see most prime estates flooded with water and roads taken over by floods while many homesteads literally became pools.

Ambode noted that major strategies would be implemented with a view to bequeathing the state with an enduring solution to water management and environmental control.

He said: “If we have learnt anything in the ongoing flooding of some parts of the state, it is that there is an immediate, even urgent need for us to embark upon a review and re-engineering of our canals and drainage systems. This must be pursued hand-in-hand with a clear and crystal re-envisioning of our water management system. So, in effect, what we should immediately pursue is a holistic solution to what is certain to be a recurring problem. It must be a sincere collaboration between government and the citizenry”.

The Governor added that several reforms were being implemented in line with the capacity of the state government to protect the shoreline and carry out de-flooding which he said were equally expensive to implement.

“The issue is when you are talking about reforms, it comes with pains but it is only the vision that drives it through and that is what we are doing,” he said.

Lagos Residents Attribute Flooding To Downpour

kaduna flooding, flood, SEMA,Some communities in Lagos state are experiencing flooding as a result of downpour which lasted for several hours.

Worst hit is the Lekki Conservation Centre Area, along Lekki- Aja Highway, Lagos.

The residents are complaining that the flood is so massive and are unable to leave the area for their workplaces.

They are asking the Lagos State Government to come to their rescue as they are helpless.

The Lekki axis is a few kilometer from the Lagos Lagoon.

In March this year, NIMETH predicted heavy rains around the coastal areas and warned residents to relocate to avoid flooding of the area.

Okowa Vows To Tackle Flooding In Asaba

Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa has reassured residents of Okpanam, a community in Asaba, the state capital of his intentions to fix the problem of flooding in the area.

The governor gave the assurance while inspecting the ongoing dualization of the section (II) of the Asaba/Okpanam road designed specially to guard against flooding.

Okowa promised that by the end of his 8 year tenure, the Oshimili-North Local Government Area in which Okpanam is located would have witnessed a remarkable change.

“We want to reassure you that by the grace of God at the end of our 8-year tenure, that there would be a remarkable presence of government here.”

He also inaugurated the 6.5 kilometre Oza-Nogogo road.

We Are Prepared For Heavy Rains – Oyo Govt.

We Are Prepared For Heavy Rains – Oyo Govt.The Oyo State Government has assured residents and citizens of the state that necessary machinery has been put in place to ensure that there is no flooding in the state this rainy season.

The government also assured the people of its commitment to preventing natural disasters in the state in South-west Nigeria.

Oyo State Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr Isaac Ishola, stated this while receiving members of the National Environment Standard and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) in his office.

Mr Ishola, who said the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NHSA) has listed the state among others that will experience heavy downpour in 2017, promised that government will continue to ensure a clean and safe environment.

“The State Government has embarked on sensitisation programmes, and dredging of rivers and streams have started in preparation for the heavy rains. Our administration is responsive and we attach seriousness to the business of governance.

“We also have respect for the sanctity of human lives and this is why we have put necessary machinery in motion to prepare for the heavy rains,” he explained.

The Commissioner noted that the efforts of NESREA in the environmental sustainability cannot be overemphasised, adding that the present administration in the state is working earnestly to ensure a sustainable and clean environment attractive to the investors.

He stated that two Mobile Environmental Tribunal Courts, already approved by the government, sit on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, as well as the State Waste Management Authority to prosecute sanitation offenders.

Ishola, however, said prosecuting offenders is not to place hardship nor to increase revenue, but to ensure compliance with the State Environmental Sanitation and Waste Management Regulations.

In his remarks, the Oyo State Coordinator of NESREA, Mr Obagiri Durotimi, said his visit to the Ministry was to introduce himself officially and to synergise with the Ministry to ensure environmental sustainability.

He noted that environmental issue is a collective responsibility for every individual.

Ekiti Govt. Destroys Illegal Structures Erected On Waterways

Osun-State-dredging-after-Osogbe-floodEkiti State government has begun the demolition of illegal structures erected on waterways to prevent flooding in the state.

Governor Ayodele Fayose who was on ground to supervise the demolition of a structure erected on the waterways at Ibukun Olu Street, Olora Layout in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, urged residents to always maintain a certain level of environmental sanitation.

In February this year, Governor Fayose was at Ibukun Olu Street, Olora Layout  to warn residents whose buildings were erected on the waterways, giving them 30-day ultimatum after which government will demolish the structures.

The ultimatum was however extended following pleas from the occupants of the area.

Governor Fayose who returned to the area on Thursday, said he was ready for business as he ordered the immediate demolition of the structures to ensure free flow of water.FAYOSE IN COURT.FEDERAL HIGH COURT ADO EKITI 032

The governor said the demolition comes after compensation had been paid to the affected residents.

A resident of the area, Alao Mathew who expressed happiness and also commended the governor for the level of development in the state.

With the demolition of structures on the waterways, the residents are hopeful that there would be a stop to the consistent flooding in the area.

Disaster Reduction: NEMA Seeks Nigerians’ Support

NEMA, risk managementThe National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has appealed to Nigerians to collaborate with government agencies to reduce disasters in the country.

The Director General of the Agency, Mr Muhammad Sani Sidi, made the appeal at a conference to mark the 2016 International Day for Disaster and Risk Reduction in Abuja.

The 2016 edition was themed ‘Live To Tell’ and according to Mr Sidi, the event was to provide opportunity for citizens to collaborate with government and support efforts at reducing and managing disasters.

 

On the side line of the event, the chairman of the Nigerian Red Cross Society in Abuja, Taiye Olaniyi, identified the challenges involved in rendering relief during disasters.

An official of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, James Bisong, also stated that there is the need for more practical steps to reduce disaster occurrences.

Nigeria has had both natural and man-made disasters in recent times with flooding and activities of terrorists in various parts of the country not only leading to the death of many, but has also destroyed their livelihood.

Ogun Government Advises Flood Survivors To Relocate

Osun-floodThe Ogun State government has told survivors of flood ravaged communities along the Ogun river bank to relocate in order to avoid being caught unawares by another incident.

The State Commissioner for Environment, Mr Bolaji Oyeleye, issued the warning in a statement.

The statement read: “the Ogun State Government wishes to draw the attention of the public to the recent river flooding that has affected some areas in Ifo and Obafemi-Owode Local Government Areas, namely Kara, Isheri, Denro, Akute, Wawa and Warewa”.

Mr Oyeleye, explained that adequate preparations had been made in case of further emergency.

This is after residents complained that the government had not done enough to stem the recurring problem and cried out for their intervention as the flood lingers.

NEMA Warnings

Ogun State is one of the 14 flood-prone areas named in a warning issued by the National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA). Some of the States have experienced recurrent flooding.

Flood, Osun State
Flood in Osun State killed one person in September

The flooding incident has also affected various states and communities across Nigeria and as a result, lives and huge amount of property have been lost.

NEMA and various state governments assert that adequate warnings had been sent through various sensitisation avenues. However, some residents of affected areas adamantly refused relocating ahead of the flood incidents, the agency says.

Several affected states have begun counting their losses and forging ahead in attempts to avoid a recurrence.

Osun is one of those states and the government has taken active steps such as dredging waterways to improve the drainage systems.

With NEMA recently opening three new offices in Kano, Adamawa and Edo State, the agency hopes to enhance disaster management operations within Nigeria.

Agency Prepares For Evacuation In Anambra’s Flood-prone Areas

ANAMBRA, SEMA, Flood sensitisation, FloodingThe State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) in Anambra has begun preparation for evacuation of persons in flood-prone area just as the rains intensify. 

The agency said it would ensure that that residents in the area who may be displaced in the area get adequate help.

Officials of the agency are currently touring Local Government Areas to interact with communities expected to be affected by flooding.

Anambra is one of the 11 predicted flood-prone states and majority of the residents living around flood-prone areas of the state have started making serious efforts to ensure they are not caught unawares by the disaster.

Some residents of some states have been displaced by flood, as predicted by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, due to their refusal to heed the warnings.

This is a situation the agency is making efforts to guard against in Anambra State.

According to the executive secretary of the agency in the state, Anambra has 28 camps ready for those that might be displaced.