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Nigerian villages flooded by Cameroon dam

Aug. 28, 2012 at 9:49 AM

ABUJA, Nigeria, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- A massive release of water from a dam in Cameroon submerged 250 villages in neighboring Nigeria and killed an unknown number of people.

Eighteen bodies were recovered Monday from the Benue River in the Nigerian state of Adamawa, The Guardian reported.

Kobis T. Ari, secretary to the state government, told journalists Adamawa officials received a letter from the Cameroon government on Friday advising that water would be released from the Lado Dam, at the upper reaches of the Benue River.

Ari said the release was done before villagers could be told to leave flood-prone areas.

Cameroon regularly releases water from the dam.

Ari said Cameroon should compensate the victims of the flooding and enter an agreement with its neighbor on how to avoid the "yearly disaster."

He said the flooding was the worst since 1958.

Schools, hospitals and government offices also were submerged.

Medical workers have been dispatched to the area to help prevent an outbreak of disease, he added.

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