More than 200 dead in Afghanistan flash floods: UN

AFP , Saturday 11 May 2024

Flash floods that have ripped through northern Afghanistan left more than 200 people dead in a single province, the United Nations said on Saturday.

Afghanistan
People are seen near their damaged homes after heavy flooding in Baghlan province in northern Afghanistan Saturday, May 11, 2024. AP

 

More than 200 people were killed and thousands of houses were destroyed or damaged in Baghlan province when heavy rains on Friday sparked massive flooding, the UN's International Organization for Migration told AFP.

In Baghlani Jadid district alone, up to 1,500 homes were damaged or destroyed and "more than 100 people died", an IOM emergency response lead said, citing figures from the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority.

Taliban government officials said 62 people had died as of Friday night.

Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said "hundreds of our fellow citizens have succumbed to these calamitous floods" in a statement on X, formerly Twitter, on Saturday, without differentiating the numbers of dead and injured, though he told AFP dozens had been killed.

Multiple provinces across Afghanistan saw flash flooding, with officials in northern Takhar province reporting 20 dead on Saturday.

Rains on Friday also caused heavy damage in northeastern Badakhshan province, central Ghor province and western Herat, officials said.

Emergency personnel have been deployed to the affected areas and were rushing to rescue injured and stranded people, the defence ministry said.

Afghanistan -- which had a relatively dry winter, making it more difficult for the soil to absorb rainfall -- is highly vulnerable to climate change.

The nation, ravaged by four decades of war, is one of the poorest in the world and, according to scientists, one of the worst prepared to face the consequences of global warming.

Short link: