The National Emergency Management Agency says it is prepared for the imminent collapse of Lake Nyos and the potential disaster it poses to Benue and other states in Nigeria.
NEMA’s North-Central Zonal Coordinator, Alhaji Alhassan Aliyu, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Jos on Sunday that experts had predicted that the lake, near Nigeria’s border with Cameroon, would eventually collapse by 2015.
The collapse of the lake, which is also a volcanic dam, would cause the release up to 50 million cubic metres (1.8 billion cu ft) of water into Katsina-Ala River.
“The water will flood Benue and Taraba states and release much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
“NEMA has installed warning signals in Kashimbila to warn people, about 10 km away, of the possibility of a flood and advised that they be wary and ready for the lake’s collapse if it eventually occurs earlier than the 2015 date.
“The warning signals, a kind of scientific installation coded in several languages of the communities, inform the residents about the impending flood and forewarn everybody to immediately leave the river bank.
“This alert system enables the people, particularly those downstream, to get prompt information so that their evacuation can be done as quickly as possible in the event of any flood passing through the communities,” he stated.