At least nine children are reported to have died as houses in Niger’s capital, Niamey, collapsed following heavy rainfall.

The rain has caused floods and extensive damage in certain areas such as the main markets in the city centre.

Homes collapsed in several parts of the city, trapping or killing those inside, AFP reported Zourkaleini Maiga, secretary general of the local authority, as saying.

Last month, the UN warned that 106,000 people in Niger were at risk of floods.

One woman told local television that three of her four children had died while sheltering from the rain by the wall of a neighbour’s house.

Two television channels, Tele-Sahel and Tal-TV, had their programming interrupted on Tuesday evening when their studios flooded, AFP reported company officials as saying.

Reports in Nigerian newspapers have also spoken of transport links with northern Nigeria being cut in the past few days, as two road bridges on key routes were washed away in the Mokwa area and a railway line was severed.

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