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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 October 2006, 18:19 GMT 19:19 UK
Burst dam destroys Nigeria homes
Map showing Zamfara state in Nigeria
Hundreds of people in northern Nigeria have been made homeless after a dam burst in Zamfara state, the state's governor has said.

Governor Ahmed Sani Yarima told the BBC torrential rain had brought the water level behind the dam to critical level, forcing it to burst.

Mr Yarima said about 1,000 families had lost their homes but said that contrary to media reports no-one was killed.

Earlier reports in local media said at least 40 people had died.

The governor described how a wall of water swept through villages below the dam, close to the state capital Gusau.

"The body of water was just like the pictures of tsunami that we've seen," he said. "It had enough force and speed to sweep people off their feet and into the river."

Despite the force of the water, "all those missing were later found safe and alive," Mr Yarima told Reuters news agency.

People who have lost their homes are being sheltered in a local secondary school.

The reservoir behind the dam provided the main supply of drinking water to Gusau.

Mr Yerima said emergency repairs to the dam would take about two weeks but water supplies to Gusau should not be affected.

He has called on the Nigerian federal government to provide aid.




SEE ALSO
Nigeria building search goes on
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Country profile: Nigeria
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Timeline: Nigeria
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