An early morning downpour that lasted several hours, yesterday, submerged some parts of Lagos unleashing hardship and unquantifiable losses on residents in affected areas. Eyewitnesses said a four-year-old child was swept away in the metropolis.
Director General/Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, (LASEMA), Dr. Olufemi Damilola Oke-Osanyintolu, said a response team from the agency has commenced search and rescue operation for the missing child.
The torrential rainfall which started at about 5:30am took over the better part of different streets in Mushin, Anifowose Community in Ikeja, Ikeja Along, Agege, Victoria Island, Lekki and Ajah, resulting in a flood that submerged roads and households with massive destruction of assets.
The flood spread sorrow to residents of 38 Fashola Street off Odebode Street and Papa Asafa Orile Agege.
The flood from Fashola Street ran through Aboru, Iyana Ipaja; Command in Lagos to Ota in Ogun State, but ended up at Agbara where the canal discharges into the sea.
Acting coordinator of NEMA, Lagos Territorial Office, Ibrahim Farinloye, gave her name as Azeezat and enjoined residents to look out for her body.
“NEMA and LASEMA have put resources together in recovery operations as soon as distressed alert was received, but the body has not been recovered. Azizat lived with her parents at 38 Fashola street, but when their house was overtaken by flood and in an effort to relocate to higher ground with other residents, Azeezat mistakenly missed her step and fell into a drainage that was covered with floodwater and was swept away,” he said.
Farinloye said four buildings partially collapsed in different parts of the state, while two women were rescued, including a pregnant woman who slumped but was revived immediately.
A visit to different bus stops in the affected areas revealed crowds of stranded passengers as the rains prevented commercial buses and taxis from plying the roads. Most of the people jettisoned social distancing advice against COVID-19 spread.
As a result of the gridlock caused by the flood in Ikeja Along, Lagos-Abeokuta Road, Alagbado area, Agege and many other areas, commuters groaned as cost of transport soared above the normal. For instance, commercial drivers charged N1,000 from Berger to Oshodi against N250. Abule-Egba to Oshodi rose from N300 to N600.
Residents who experienced the flooding took to social media to share pictures and videos of the damage that the downpour did.
Concerned residents have called on the state government to find lasting solution to the recurring problem of flood, which has claimed lives and sacked many from their homes.
An owner of a hotel located off Anifowoshe Street, Mr. Isong Daniel, said the flood started after the downpour in Wednesday, but disappeared when the rain subsided.
“Yesterday’s rain caught many residents by surprise, the level of flooding in the area was above the knee. Some residents watched helplessly as their household items floated in water. Many vehicles broke down in the flood, while some motorists parked their vehicles by the roadside and waited patiently for the flood to reduce before continuing their journey,” he said.
As the flood water swept some debris in its path, causing drains and drainage channels to overflow, LASEMA has warned against indiscriminate disposal of refuse by residents.