As environmental experts predict intense flooding across Nigeria this year, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) has warned residents of flood prone areas to quickly evacuate to avoid danger.

Already the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) in their rainfall prediction and flood outlook for 2017 had listed local council areas in almost all the States of the federation as likely to be affected by flooding this year.

The Director General of NOA, Dr. Garba Abari said residents of the states and councils listed should take it seriously and take measures to move out of the areas in the first instance to safeguard assets and property in and around the area.

He also advised Nigerians to adopt simple environmental safeguards, including opening of waterways, stopping the dumping of refuse in gutters among others. He further admonished Nigerians to stop building houses along designated water channels to avoid blockage that could cause flooding.

The Director General urged State and Local Governments to step up their responsibility to clear drainages and if possible invoke environmental laws towards flood mitigation in the country.

Dr. Abari said as part of measures to enlighten Nigerians, State Directorates of the Agency have been directed to intensify work to sensitize people in the affected areas. He urged traditional rulers, local opinion leaders and youth groups to take up the challenge of enlightening people in their localities on the flooding situation this year.

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