More than 350 people have been killed and more than two million forced from their homes, with wild weather causing the waters of the Atlantic to gush inland.
Nothing to do with anything called Sandy, though – this less reported catastrophe is in Nigeria, where floods have taken an estimated 363 lives since July.
And the scant coverage can’t be put down to lack of drama. According to one aid worker, quoted in the Lagos-based This Day newspaper, evacuees should be cautious about going home:
Presently there are crocodiles and snakes as well as other dangerous animals brought in by the floodwaters that are living in those houses, so if the people return … they will put their lives at risk.
“It baffles me that the Western media is paying so little attention,” wrote John Campbell, a former US ambassador to Nigeria, at the Council on Foreign Relations website, in a piece published just days before Sandy struck the US.
In over-crowded camps with poor sanitation, the spread of infectious disease also seems inevitable. Deaths–direct and indirect–from flooding in Nigeria this season, may exceed the total associated with Boko Haram.
Meanwhile, the Western media is, almost universally, giving the flooding stories a pass. Is it a case of seeing the floods as yet another dreary story out of Africa, and Nigeria in particular, that allows news agencies to draw the conclusion that their readership would have only a limited interest?