More than 76,000 victims of the devastating floods that hit about 200 communities in five local government areas of Anambra State are being evacuated from their homes to relief camps in Onitsha and Nteje.
The evacuation came as reports said two persons, a woman and a boy, died at Ogbaru following the flooding that submerged their homes on Sunday night.
Governor Peter Obi led the evacuation exercise on Monday as he abandoned the Independence anniversary parade review in Awka and headed for Ogbaru Local Government Area whose communities are the hardest hit in the flooding.
Personnel of the Navy, Army, Security and Civil Defence Corps, Federal Road Safety Corps, the Red Cross Society of Nigeria, the Peace Corps and other voluntary agencies were involved in the exercise.
According to a worker of the state Emergency Management Agency, no community in Ogbaru local government, which lies along the River Niger, is spared in the disaster.
He said the flooding paralysed communication and economic activities in the communities.
Meanwhile, many of the victims are being evacuated to the 302 Artillery Regimernt, Onitsha, where the army and other emergency agencies are on hand to resettle them.
Other victims particularly from Ayamelum, Anambra East and Anambra West local government areas are being moved to Nteje, headquarters of Oyi Local Government Area.
But according to the Executive Director of SEMA, Dr. Austin Ijezie, more camps were being opened at the Onitsha South Stadium and other areas to accommodate more victims.
He said, “Twelve buses and trucks have just brought in people to Onitsha and many more loads of them are coming. The situation is getting beyond what the state government alone and SEMA can handle. It is an evolving catastrophe.”
Ijezie, however, said many of the victims were reluctant to move from their ancestral homes.
He said, “Such people are so attached to their homes that they do not want to move.”
Senator Andy Uba, representing Anambra South in the National Assembly, visited the victims at their Onitsha and Ogbaru camps.