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article imageNigeria: Ripple effect of Hurricane Sandy may hit Lagos coast

By JohnThomas Didymus     Oct 31, 2012 in Environment
Lagos - The Lagos state government has warned residents to prepare for the ripple effect of Hurricane Sandy. An official of the state said experience has shown that when hurricanes hit the US, the ripple effect was felt in Lagos within seven to 14 days.
According to Channels TV, the state Commissioner for Waterfront and Infrastructure Development, Prince Adesegun Oniru; Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba as well as the Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment, Mr. Taofeek Folami, at a joint media briefing in Alausa, Ikeja on Tuesday, alerted Lagosians to the possible ripple effect of Hurricane Sandy.
Digital Journal reported that Hurricane Sandy was a devastating tropical storm that swept through Jamaica, Cuba, the Bahamas, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and the US East Coast causing deaths and destruction.
The Punch reports Mr. Adesegun Oniru said the West African coastline could experience the ripple effects of the devastating hurricane in the the next seven to 14 days. Channels TV reports Oniru said: "Let Lagosians know what is going on, and what to expect, it is not to create panic; they should be careful around the Ocean and Lagoon. In the last five to six days, around the Caribbean, from Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba Hurricane Sandy has hit those places and has also hit the East Coast of America.
“Normally, when such happens, and when those kinds of magnitude hit that part of the world, we always have a ripple effect in Lagos and around the West Coast of Africa. Our main concern is Lagos; it is a warning, but not to create panic."
According to Oniru, “Lagos lies parallel to the South America part of the world on the map, but super storm Sandy has hit New York City and Atlantic and the West Part.
“That part of the world is northern to us, but we need to note that within the next seven to 14 days, we may get a ripple effect.
“When the wind starts, the wind turns to a hurricane and then high water level begins to rise because of the wind; imagine throwing water on a glass, it will splash back, so we may have high wave, high water level.
“I advise those who live around the coastline and shoreline to be vigilant and remain calm and if they start seeing storms like the one that occurred on 17 of August this year, they should stay off the Atlantic. It’s a warning to those on the Coastline.”
Oniru's warning recalls the ocean surge that occurred on August 17 at Kuramo Beach, Victoria Island during which 15 people were killed.
Vanguard reports, however, that a professor of climatology at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Professor RNC Anyadike, has said that Nigeria could not suffer any ripple effect from the Hurricane. Anyadike said: “It is not possible. We don’t have hurricanes in West Africa. Meanwhile, Hurricane Sandy has already hit land, it will soon dissipate. What kind of ripple effect are they talking about? Do you know how far we are from New York?
“The only thing we are likely to experience is heavy rainfall occasioned by climate change not hurricane.”
The Punch reports Oniru, however, said the government's warning was based on “experience, records and study of past happenings.” He said Lagos authorities have started implementing the necessary precautionary measures.
He said: “This warning is not to cause panic in Lagos, but to place us all on alert that if we notice anything unusual in our coast lines, we should not go near the waters but rather call government attention.
“This storm has hit the Caribbean and is now in USA. We always get a ripple effect of such happening in Lagos.
“This wind started in Africa, went west gathering more wind and later turning to hurricane. We expect a splash back effect. It could be on our coast lines and shore lines, it could be more than that. And it may not happen at all. Everybody must be vigilant. Let us be careful around our oceans and lagoons.”
The state commissioner also spoke about plans to protect Kuramo, Majidun and Alpha beaches that were all affected by the last major ocean surge in the state.
The Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on the Environment, Dr. Taofeek Folami, asked residents not to dump refuse in drainage channels to minimize the effect of any ocean surge as ripple effect of Hurricane Sandy.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Mr Lateef Ibirogba, urged residents not to panic, saying the alert was only precautionary.
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