(TIML NEWS) More than 100,000 people in Nigeria’s Benue state have been displaced due to flooding in the country’s central region. Nigerian President Muhammad Buhari revealed the devastating figures on Twitter Thursday (Aug. 31).
“I have received with great concern reports of the flooding in Benue state, displacing, from early estimates, more than 100,000 people,” Buhari tweeted along with a promise to get aid to “affected communities and persons.”
Buhuri received criticism for authorities slow reaction to the flood, but a followup statement from spokesperson, Gara Shehu reiterated that he sent immediate word to the National Emergency Management (NEMA) to dispatch personal and resources to aid flood victims.
“The president extends his sympathies to the government and people of Benue State, and assures that the federal government will make available any assistance needed to enable the state government and the affected communities cope with and surmount the impact of the flooding,” Shehu said.
Nigeria has been wrecked by heavy rains over the last two weeks, overwhelming the rising Benue river.
While the number of casualties has yet to be tallied, a father in Lokogama and his two children were among the lives claimed by the flooding. The tragedy spurred a peaceful protest on Thursday to bring attention to the area’s poor infrastructure.
Images of the catastrophic flood damage are being shared across social media via the #PrayForMakurdi hashtag.