Nearly 200 dead in Niger floods

Flooding caused by heavy rains in the West African state of Niger has claimed nearly 200 lives and affected more than a quarter of a million people, the Civil Protection Service said on Thursday, describing the toll as one of the highest on record.

Rainy-season floods claimed 192 lives, affected more than 263,000 people and destroyed more than 30,000 homes, as well as classrooms, medical centres and grain stores, it said.

The worst-affected regions are Maradi and Zinder in the centre of the country, Dosso in the southwest and Tahoua in the west.

The rainy season in Niger, located in the heart of the arid Sahel, typically runs from June to September and routinely claims lives.

In 2021, 70 people were killed and 200,000 people were affected. The death toll in 2020 was 73.

Katiellou Gaptia Lawan, head of the national meteorological agency, said this year’s heavy rains were consistent with models of impacts from climate change.

Niger is the world’s poorest country, according to the benchmark of the 2020 Human Development Index devised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Over 4.4 million people — more than a fifth of the population — fall into the category of “severe” food insecurity, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent said in July.

3 dead in Jakarta floods after school wall collapse: police
Jakarta (AFP) Oct 6, 2022 – At least three people died in Indonesia Thursday after a flood in capital Jakarta surged into a school and caused a wall to collapse, a police official told local media.

The Greater Jakarta metropolitan region houses around 30 million people and is regularly hit by floods in the rainy season.

“According to the information we received, 3 people died,” Multazam Lisendra, police chief of Cilandak district in south Jakarta, told broadcaster Kompas TV.

“For the cause, it needs to be investigated further, but the initial assumption is that there is so much pressure from the overflowing river that pushed and knocked down the school’s wall. The water overflowed into the school,” he said.

Local media reported the three dead were students at the MTSN 19 school in South Jakarta. The police official did not confirm the identity of the victims.

Footage on social media showed some teenage students crying in panic while trying to evacuate from the school, submerged in waist-deep waters.

Five people were killed in floods across the city last February that submerged entire neighbourhoods and sent thousands into shelters.

In 2020, Jakarta saw some of its deadliest floods in years after downpours that also triggered landslides.

At least 67 people in the capital and nearby cities were killed in that disaster, with the floodwaters reaching the second floor of some buildings after rivers burst their banks.

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