10-hour rainfall: Businesses grounded, house collapses as flood overtakes Lagos

Seven rescued from collapsed building, flood-induced traffic disrupts movement in Lagos, Ogun

Business and commercial activities were grounded on Wednesday following a 10-hour downpour in many parts of Lagos and Ogun states.

The resulting flooding brought down a two-storey building in the Mushin area of Lagos, grounded vehicular movement on the roads and overwhelmed thousands of residents while pupils could not attend schools in parts of the states.

Though the Lagos State government said the rain lasted for nine hours, in some parts of the state,  it started at midnight and did not subside until noon, making it 12 hours.

Such places include Berger, Ikeja, Ogba and in some parts, the rain lasted for 10 hours.

Our correspondents, who visited some affected flooded areas such as Iyana-Oworo, Agege, Ijegun-Isheri Osun, Gbagada and Lagos Island in Lagos State, observed that roads and houses were flooded as a result of long hours of downpour.

Other flooded places in Lagos include Eredo, Bojije, Epe, Sangotedo, Ibeju-Lekki, Awoyaya, Labora, and Abijon.

The PUNCH also visited Atan-Ota, Aseese, Ifo, Sango-Ota, and Ijebu-Ode in Ogun State and observed that major roads were  submerged, making them impassable and leaving passengers stranded.

The heavy showers, which began around 12am, were blamed for the collapse of a two-storey building on Cameroon Road in the Mushin area of Lagos, injuring seven people.

The Permanent Secretary of the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority, Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, stated that the seven victims were rescued alive from the collapsed structure.

He attributed the collapse of the newly constructed building to the inclement weather.

He said, “Early this morning, seven people were rescued alive from a building in Ewenla, Mushin, that collapsed in the inclement weather.

“Upon arrival of the LRT at the scene of the incident, it was discovered that a newly constructed two-storey building had collapsed. Three females and four males were rescued alive and taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

“The agency’s search-and-rescue team had searched the rubbles and can confirm that there is no victim underneath the collapsed building. The area has been cordoned off, and operations are still ongoing.”

* Non-essential travels

Due to the unpredictable weather conditions, the LASEMA boss also urged Lagos residents to remain calm and avoid any non-essential travel.

“We are urging the good people of Lagos to remain calm and refrain from any non-essential travel due to the incidence of flash floods across the state,” he added.

Students currently taking exams were affected by the downpour as some schools in White Sand Estate, Isheri-Osun, in the Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos, closed.

The students were advised to stay home due to the hazardous roads.

The PUNCH reports that White Sand Estate is one of the hardest-hit areas in Lagos, frequently experiencing severe flooding.

Flooding in White Sand Estate is a recurring issue, with the area suffering from poor roads, inadequate drainage systems, and a lack of maintenance.

Wednesday’s downpour once again flooded homes, with water reaching mid-level levels.

Our correspondent observed that many residents were trapped in their apartments, unable even to sit down as their living spaces were submerged.

A parent, identified simply as Atinuke, shared a message from the school with our correspondent, praising the school’s management for their “pragmatic” decision.

The message read, “Good morning, dearest parents, trust your night was splendid. Due to the heavy downpour and a predicted serious rainy weather forecast today, we have decided to close the school and postpone today’s exam. As you can see, almost everywhere is flooded.

“As a school, we prioritise the safety of our geniuses above everything else. Consequently, the school bus will also not operate today. We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience.”

Atinuke called for the state government’s intervention, lamenting that water had flooded her living room, forcing her to remove the furniture.

She said, “The rain has entered my house again; just look at the environment. This is White Sand Estate in Isheri-Osun.”

The area was flooded, making it impossible for cars and motorcycles to navigate, while the pedestrians faced significant risks as the flooding obscured drainage channels.

The Public Relations Officer of the area’s Community Development, Johnson Olabode, expressed his frustration, stating, “We are at it again this year. Everywhere is filled with water. I have been up since 3am when the rain started, and all I could do was watch my house get flooded. We can’t even start removing the water until the rain stops.”

He added that schools have notified parents to keep their children at home due to the severe conditions.

Meanwhile, some residents have called on the Lagos State government to urgently address this ongoing problem in their community.

A resident, identified as John Adewale, decried that the flooding had become a yearly nightmare for them.

He said, “This has become a yearly nightmare for us. Every time it rains heavily, we know our homes will be flooded. We’ve been pleading with the government for better drainage systems, but nothing seems to be happening. We’re stuck inside with water everywhere.”

* Flood submerges roads

Major roads such as Majek, Abraham Adesanya, and Awoyaya-Sangotedo were also impacted, with ongoing road construction further worsening the situation.

Commercial vehicles and motorcycles seized the opportunity to hike transport fares.

A resident, Anuoluwapo Atanda, in the Pen Cinema, Agege area of Lagos, said that the flood affected her house due to the blocked drainage in her area.

She revealed that it also impacted all the houses on her street and the adjacent one.

Atanda said, “Flooding is an issue here because residents refuse to clean their drainage systems. The main reason for the flood is the dirty and congested drainage filled with waste.

“The government is trying to create a larger drainage system on the link road to my street, but the work has been slow and rough. I think this season is not the right time to do it.

“They just dug the drainage, but water is not flowing in it because it hasn’t been completed. Once the water in the gutter fills up, it flows into the road and people’s houses.

“Traffic has been terrible because of the flood. Drivers are being careful so they don’t sink with their vehicles, as it is difficult to identify potholes and gutters when everywhere is flooded. It took me about 45 minutes to get to Oshodi from Agege; everywhere is messed up.”

A resident on who goes by the name, Chu Osakwe, stated, “This is Gbagada to 7up inward 3MB. Stay home if you have no business on the island. #Traffic.’’

“If your route this morning is mainland to the island via 3MB, just forget it. Turn back home or reroute. I just passed by on the opposite side, and the beginning of the Third Mainland (Iyana woro?) is flooded to the car doors. I’ve never seen that on the bridge before,” another X user wrote on Wednesday.

“Please let me adjust my advice. If you live in Lagos, do not even consider coming out of your house today. Everywhere is flooded. I didn’t expect it to be this bad on the mainland. Flooded, and all the roads are blocked in any direction,” the resident added.

Our correspondent who visited Ikeja observed stranded commuters forced to find shelter, while others stood by the roadside waiting for commercial buses to take them to their destinations.

The PUNCH also noted that some commercial buses refused to pick up passengers travelling from Ogba to Ikeja due to the flood and traffic gridlock.

Additionally, broken-down vehicles further compounded the plight of motorists.

A driver identified as Tunji blamed the flooding on the poor drainage system in Ikeja.

He said, “The drainage system in Ikeja is inadequate; there’s nowhere for the water to flow, so it stays in one place, damaging cars and other properties.

“The demand for buses is greater than the supply due to the rain. That is why we don’t have vehicles ready to go to Ikeja. The supply went down because of the flood and gridlock. It is a sad thing, but what can we do?

‘’We can’t force them to spoil their vehicles just because we want to get to work. It is not fair.”

* Fare hike

The PUNCH also observed that commercial bus drivers and tricycle riders increased the transport fare from the usual N300 to N700 for trips from Ogba to Ikeja.

A 54-second viral video showed hoodlums extorting residents, demanding a N100 levy before allowing them to access an alternate route under the Trade Fair bridge in the Ojo area, following the flood that submerged much of the area.

Some individuals were arrested by officials of the Lagos State Government for allegedly extorting the residents.

“This is the Trade fair under-bridge; pay N100 before you can take the passage. And we have a president in this country. Look at their faces,” a woman’s voice in a video clip said.

The Commissioner for Environment, Tokunbo Wahab, stated on his handle that the miscreants had been arrested by the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps and assured that they would be prosecuted accordingly.

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