The Lagos State Government has said that three lifeless bodies have been recovered from the Kuramo Beach following a high ocean surge that swept through the state’s waterfront at the weekend.
The General Manager of the State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, who disclosed this to journalists while giving an update of the tragic incident, said the bodies brought the number of deaths recorded to four.
Osanyintolu said the state government’s emergency team had launched a frantic search for 12 persons out of the 15 that were declared missing in the wake of the ocean surge.
The head of LASEMA said the victims were petty traders at the waterfront who resided in the makeshift houses located within the Kuramo, just as he revealed that their bodies had been deposited at the Isolo General Hospital Morgue.
He said the bodies recovered were two males and one female, with the latter named as Bisi.
As part of measures to curtail the eventuality of another high tide, the State Government has placed a temporary stand to prevent the surge from spreading to other areas while shanties occupied by residents along the waterfront have been demolished.
This measures are in line with anearlier directive by government on Saturday to the residents to vacate the area to prevent further loss of lives.
Following this tragedy, fun seekers who had planned to take advantage of the Sallah celebration to visit the Kuramo beach were disappointed as they were turned back by security personnel who had cordoned off the area from onlookers and tourists.
The state government has also refuted the rumour that the surge was caused by the multimillion-dollar Eko Atlantic City project where the state government is recovering about 9km of lost land from the ocean, with an intention to build a world class city expected to house about 250,000 residents.
State Commissioner for Waterfront, Prince Segun Oniru, had on several occasions said that the Eko Atlantic City, which was not a project unique to Lagos, would not have any negative environmental impact on the area as the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) had been duly conducted and certified okay.
Oniru said: “When President Goodluck Jonathan visited this area after the July 10, 2011 flood, we were happy that soon there will be solution to this environmental threat but unfortunately nothing has happened since then, ” he said, blaming the disaster on the neglect by the federal government.