Sala eve tragedy-Ocean sweeps away 16

THE SUN Newspaper- Christian Oji and Oluwole Farotimi

One person was confirmed dead and 15 others missing in an ocean surge that occurred yesterday on the Lagos coastline.

The tragedy, which occurred on the Kuramo axis as Lagosians prepared for the Eid-el-fitr celebration, spoilt the fun of residents.

It was gathered that the surge started on Friday night but became dangerous about 7 a.m. on Saturday.

Among those feared drowned were 12 persons said to be fishermen and unidentified picnickers.

They were said to be in a canoe when the surge increased and swept them away.

The state Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko, later sent policemen to cordon off the area.

Only one body had been recovered as at press time.

The incident compelled the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, to order relocation of residents of the area.

Addressing journalists few hours after the incident, the Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Prince Segun Oniru, said the government’s action was aimed at saving lives.

Oniru explained that evacuation of the state’s waterfront residents was being done to avert possible disaster from the seven days of high waves accompanied by a strong ocean surge, which hit the country’s coastlines, with Lagos being among the worst hit due to its location.

The commissioner said the process of evacuation had started with the immediate evacuation of the Kuramo Beach to make way for movement of sand into the area.

He told reporters that the action was taken immediately to avert the disaster of the Atlantic joining the Kuramo Waters and subsequently the Lagoon.

The commissioner said the state was getting the extreme of the weather condition due its location.

According to him, the other coastal waterfront areas badly affected and from which people would be expected to move include Badagry and Ojo Waterfront areas, Bar Beach, Goshen Estate, Maiyegun and Alpha Beach.

Oniru said the state emergency services have already been mobilized to continue to monitor the situation and respond accordingly, and urged the people of the state to remain calm as government was doing everything possible to avert loss of lives and property to the surge.


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