HomeTop StoriesFlash floods kill at least 50 people in Afghanistan

Flash floods kill at least 50 people in Afghanistan

At least 50 people have been killed in flash floods caused by heavy rains in central Afghanistan, officials say.

Authorities in Ghor province say several others are missing as people fled to safety on higher ground just minutes before the water hit.

They say the floods have also killed thousands of cattle, destroyed some 2,000 homes and damaged many more.

The new heavy rain follows widespread flooding in northern and central areas this week.

Officials say that in the provincial capital Firozkoh, about 2,000 shops are flooded and most roads leading to them are closed.

A resident there said “a huge and terrible flood” washed away everything as he and his family rushed to safety after being warned by mosque officials and loudspeakers.

Zahir Zahid told AFP news agency: “I saw with my own eyes how the flood destroyed my house. Women and children, everyone was crying.”

The province’s disaster management department declared a state of emergency and appealed for shelter, food and water.

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Provincial Governor Abdul Wahid Hamas’ spokesman said dozens of people were missing.

More than 300 people were killed last week after unusually heavy rains destroyed dozens of villages in the north, according to UN and Taliban officials.

As a result, a large part of the agricultural land is covered with thick mud in a country where 80% of the more than 40 million people depend on agriculture.

UN agencies have warned that the number of people killed in the latest floods could rise as rescue efforts are severely hampered without access to affected areas.

The heavy rains came after the country experienced a prolonged period of drought earlier this year.

Climate analysts say Afghanistan – already war-ravaged and alienated from the world since the Taliban took power in 2021 – is one of the least prepared countries to tackle the effects of climate change.

The Afghan meteorological agency has warned of more rain and possible flooding in all provinces of the country.

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The worst-hit area in the north, Baghlan, remains inaccessible to trucks, according to the UN World Food Program.

The UN says survivors displaced in previous floods are left with no home, no land and no source of livelihood.

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