May 17th, 2024

Flash floods kill more than 300 people in northern Afghanistan after heavy rains, UN says

By Rahim Faiez, The Associated Press on May 11, 2024.

ISLAMABAD (AP) – The U.N. food agency says more than 300 Afghans have died in flash floods that also destroyed more than 1,000 houses in the northern province of Baghlan.

The World Food Agency said Saturday it was distributing fortified biscuits to the survivors of one of the many floods that hit Afghanistan over the last few weeks following unusually heavy rainfall.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

ISLAMABAD (AP) – Flash floods from seasonal rains in Afghanistan have killed hundreds of people and injured a “substantial number,” a Taliban official said Saturday, without giving exact figures.

The floods hit mostly the northern region of the country. The province of Baghlan bore the brunt of the deluges Friday with officials preliminary reporting at least 50 people dead and properties destroyed in multiple districts.

In neighboring Takhar province, state-owned media outlets reported the floods killed at least 20 people.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the chief spokesman for the Taliban government posted on social media platform X on Saturday, saying that “hundreds … have succumbed to these calamitous floods, while a substantial number have sustained injuries.”

Mujahid identified the provinces of Badakhshan, Baghlan, Ghor and Herat as the worst hit. He added that “the extensive devastation” has resulted in “significant financial losses.”

He said the government had ordered all available resources mobilized to rescue people, transport the injured and recover the bodies of the dead.

The Taliban defense ministry said in a statement Saturday that the country’s air force has already begun evacuating people in Baghlan and has rescued a large number of people stuck in flooded areas and transported 100 injured people to military hospitals in the region.

Richard Bennett, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan said on X that the floods are a stark reminder of Afghanistan’s vulnerability to the climate crisis and both immediate aid and long-term planning by the Taliban and international actors are needed.

Videos posted on social media showed dozens of people gathered Saturday behind the hospital in Baghlan looking for their loved ones. An official tells them that they should go and start digging graves while their staff are busy with preparing bodies for the burial ceremony.

Officials previously said that in April at least 70 people died from heavy rains and flash flooding in the country. About 2,000 homes, three mosques, and four schools were also damaged.

Share this story:

14
-13
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments