Flood and Fire Disasters in Accra, Ghana

Parts of Ghana, including the capital, Accra, have seen torrential rain over the last 48 hours, resulting in widespread flooding which has left many homeless and thousands without power.

During the downpour, an explosion at a petrol station in Accra has left between 70 and 95 people dead. The explosion occurred at the Goil Fuel Station, near GCB Towers in the city.

Quoted by Associated Press, Billy Anaglate spokesman for Ghana’s national fire service said that the flooding “caused the (stored) diesel and petrol to flow away from the gas station and a fire from a nearby house led to the explosion.”

Many of the victims had sought shelter at the station due to torrential rain. Al Jazeera reporter in Accra, Ama Boateng, said the city and the rest of Ghana have been experiencing torrential rains. “This is a very busy area of Accra. Lots of people. Lots of car traffic. And because of the heavy rains people gathered at this gas station to seek shelter and this explosion happened,” Boateng said.

Local media say that residents are evacuating their homes in flood prone areas of Accra, such as Awoshie, Santa Maria, Kwashiebu and Tabora.

Hundreds of homes are believed to have been flooded, forcing residents to evacuate late last night, Wednesday 03 June 2015. Flood water is so deep, several cars have been reported floating along the city’s streets.

Rainfall

Kumasi, a city in Ashanti Region, South Ghana, saw 76 mm of rain fall in 24 hours to 03 June 2014. Kumasi is about 250 km inland from Accra.

Axim, South Ghana, which lies about 300 km east of Accra saw 88 mm of rain fall in the same period. Saltpond, about 170 km east of Accra, saw 60 mm of rainfall in the last 24 hours.

Regular Floods in Accra

Accra floods on a regular basis, especially during the rainy season. FloodList reported almost exactly a year ago to the day that the city had flooded after torrential rain on Thursday 05 June 2014, inundating central areas of the city.

Poor drainage systems which are often blocked by trash and debris, as well as illegal building on flood plains are often cited as aggravating the city’s flood problems.