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Monsoon waters submerge cathedral: The Church of England Newspaper, October 21, 2012 p October 22, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Nigeria.
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Unseasonable monsoon rains have caused the Niger River to flood, forcing tens of thousands from their homes. Bishop Emmanuel Edafe Emamezi of Western Izon Diocese in Nigeria’s Delta State reports that flood waters have inundated his cathedral and destroyed several churches.

On 5 October 2012 the Nigerian Red Cross reported 148 people had died across 21 Nigerian states in the flooding.  “Torrential downpours in recent weeks have caused widespread destruction and forced many families into makeshift camps,” the aid agency said on its website. “An estimated 134,000 people have now been affected by the floods and concern is growing about the spread of waterborne diseases.”

“It is like Florida … swampy with a lot of sea water mixed with fresh water because we are close to rivers and the Atlantic,” Tam Alazigha, the chief economic adviser for Bayelsa state told CNN, adding that “ a lot of people have been displaced. Snakes, crocodiles and hippos have been displaced and are ending up in people’s homes. Everyone has been displaced.”

Bishop Emamezi said the flood waters had moved quickly.  “We suddenly saw that we were cut off by the flood. We ran out. My driver was hardly able to remove the cars from the compound. The disaster is huge.”

“Our church at Ojobo has been swept away now,” he said, adding the “diocesan treasurer battled the flood by swimming to safety.”

The West African monsoon season runs from May through October. Weather forecasts predicted a wet October, and last month the National Emergency Agency warned those living on the banks of the Niger to be prepared to evacuate.

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

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