Nigeria is bracing for a significant weather event as the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) issues a stern warning of heavy rainfall across twenty-five states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Thursday, September 28, and Friday, September 29. The forecast carries with it the ominous possibility of flash floods, prompting concerns for safety and infrastructure.
NiMet’s weather projections indicate that states in the northern region, including Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, and Gombe, are among those expected to be hit by heavy rainfall. The list extends to Plateau, Borno, Adamawa, Taraba, Kaduna, Niger, Nasarawa, Kogi, Enugu, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, and Abia.
Moderate to heavy rainfall is also anticipated in Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi, Kwara, Benue States, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
While the rest of the country can expect very light or no rain, NiMet’s warnings highlight the need for vigilance and preparedness in the affected regions. Strong winds, a potential threat to weak structures, trees, and communication masts, have been forecast. NiMet advises residents in these areas to take precautions by disconnecting electrical appliances before the onset of rainfall, not during.
One of the most significant concerns is the likelihood of flash flooding. The heavy rainfall anticipated by NiMet carries the potential to trigger flash floods, especially in the regions specified. The agency cautions that strong winds may accompany the rains, with the strongest winds expected over parts of Adamawa, Borno, Gombe, Bauchi, Yobe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, and Kebbi.
In light of these warnings, NiMet emphasizes the importance of public safety, particularly for those who need to travel. It strongly advises against driving through surface runoff waters, as they can conceal strong undercurrents that pose a grave risk. Other hazards to be mindful of include slippery road surfaces and reduced visibility during heavy rainfall, which can disrupt road traffic.
NiMet’s message is clear: when confronted with surface water on the roads, it is safer for all road users to resist the temptation to drive through, prioritizing safety above all else.
As Nigeria faces the impending weather challenge, it is a timely reminder of the vital role that early warnings and preparedness play in safeguarding lives and property. The cooperation of the public is crucial in heeding these warnings and taking appropriate measures to minimize the potential impact of heavy rainfall and flash floods.