Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said on Sunday that 76 people were killed after a boat capsized in the southeastern part of the country.
An estimated 85 people were on board the overloaded boat when the accident occurred on Friday in a flood-ravaged area of Anambra state.
What have the authorities said about the tragedy?
President Buhari’s office quoted him in a statement: “The boat carrying 85 people reportedly capsized following increasing flooding in the Ogbaru area of the state, with emergency bodies confirming a death toll of 76.” .
Buhari was said to have directed emergency services to the site.
On Saturday, authorities had said 10 people were killed and 60 were missing. The head of the Anambra State Emergency Management Agency said 15 people had been rescued as of Saturday night.
Rainy season in Nigeria brings devastating floods
More than 300 people in Nigeria have died and 100,000 have lost their homes in the recent floods. Emergency services say it is the worst flooding in the country since 2012.
Anambra is one of 29 states out of 36 in Nigeria to have experienced flooding so far this year. At least half a million people have been affected by injuries, loss of property or other forms of material wealth, such as livestock and land.
Such boating accidents frequently occur in Nigeria due to lax safety regulations, speeding, overcrowding and limited adherence to maritime traffic regulations.
Nigeria is struggling to cope with food shortages, famine and hunger caused by countless crises resulting from COVID-19 and Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Farmland and crops have also been devastated by the floods, increasing pressure on the food supply.
ar/nm (AFP, Reuters)