nigeria flooding

Harvey-Scale Flooding Half a World Away in Nigeria

Devastating flooding in Nigeria has killed 500, injured 1546, destroyed 272 square miles of farmland, and ruined 45,000 homes, according to the Washington Post. It sounds like another Harvey half a world away, except that these floods had nothing to do with a hurricane. Nigeria lies south of the Sahara desert in Western Africa.

Location of Nigeria. Red marker in center of image.

Global Media Coverage

The BBC estimated the number of flooded homes closer to 90,000. It added that flooding has affected 27 of the country’s 36 states.

Reuters featured some of the most impressive images. The devastation, on top of bone-crushing poverty, is just heartbreaking. Washed out roads are already causing fuel shortages in parts of the country. “The scale of the disaster …is colossal,” said Mustapha Habib Ahmed, director general of the National Emergency Management Agency.

All stories blamed the Nigerian flooding on a combination of heavier than normal rains and the release of water from a dam in neighboring Cameroon. Shades of the Lake Conroe release during Harvey!

Before/During NASA Images

To understand the scope and severity of the flooding, visit NASA’s Earth Observatory. This pair of false-color images from last year and this, show how how much of the country has been affected.

Last October, from NASA Earth Observatory.
This October, also from NASA Earth Observatory.

Not only have the rivers swollen, a giant lake (bottom middle) has suddenly appeared out of nowhere. The false colors make it easier to see the difference between water and land.

Toward the top of the image, says NASA, floodwater had inundated numerous communities along the banks of both rivers. Near the rivers’ confluence, floodwater inundated Lokoja, the capital city of the state of Kogi. 

Flooding continued to the south, including a noticeably widespread area spanning southern Kogi and the northern part of Anambra state. The natural-color images below show a detailed view near this area. They were acquired by the Operational Land Imager-2 (OLI-2) on Landsat 9 on June 12 and October 2, 2022.

Here’s one of the heartbreaking Reuters images by Afolabi Sotunde that shows what the flooding looks like from ground level.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 10/13/22 with thanks to NASA and Reuters

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