Heavy flooding in the central Nigerian state of Plateau has claimed at least 39 lives and washed away dozens of homes after a dam near the city of Jos overflowed.

Local officials said that an additional 35 people have been reported missing and that the death toll is expected to rise, though rescue efforts are ongoing.

The Red Cross in is assisting local authorities with rescue efforts.

Rainwater and water from the Lamingo dam which overflowed swept across several neighborhoods in the city, the head of the Red Cross in Plateau Manasie Phampe told the BBC.

We are still searching for more bodies (and) as many people have been declared missing.

The floods have displaced several thousand people, who are now staying in government buildings in Jos, while Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency has launched a relief operation in the disaster zone.