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Flash floods hit several parts of Afghanistan, scores killed, hundreds of houses destroyed

By: The Kabul Times

  • President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in a statement ordered necessary aid to Parwan and other provinces while expressing his condolences to the victims’ families.
  • Local officials say the number of casualties may rise as rescue teams work to locate people buried under destroyed houses.

KABUL: Heavy flash floods have killed at least 70 people and injured dozens of others as heavy seasonal rains drenched northern and eastern Afghanistan, officials said Wednesday.

Spokesperson for northern Parwan province Wahida Shahkar said the number of casualties may rise as rescue teams work to locate people buried under destroyed houses. She said at least 70 people were killed and more than a hundred were injured in the northern province.

Meanwhile Parwan’s head of the provincial hospital, Abdul Qasim Sangin, said several children were among the dead and some injured are in critical condition.

According to local officials, the flooding started in the central part of the province overnight following heavy rains, destroying many homes. Local residents called on the government to deliver aid and provide immediate support for workers digging through mud to reach those who were trapped.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in a statement ordered aid be delivered to Parwan and other provinces while expressing his condolences to the victims’ families.

The State-Ministry for Disaster Management said flooding blocked highways to eastern and northern provinces. “Along with rescuing people where are working to open the highways back to the traffic,” the ministry said in a statement.

According to the ministry, 300 houses were destroyed in Parwan and over a thousand people displaced, adding that ground and air support sent to help those trapped by the flooding had reached the provinces.

“According to the initial reports of the Disaster Management Department of Parwan, Kapisa, Panjshir, Maidan Wardak, Logar, Paktia, Paktika, Nuristan and Nangarhar provinces, due to rain and floods dated August 24-26, more than 70 people were martyred, more than 100 people injured, 300 residential houses, 200 meters of retaining walls, 100 meters of roads, 100 acres of agricultural lands, 2 shops were destroyed,” the ministry’s statement added.

The ministry also warned residents of possible flooding in the region with a social media alert late Tuesday. The ministry said hundreds of acres of agricultural land have been destroyed, with the heavy rain wiping out all the corps in eastern Nuristan province.

“Due to large amount of damage caused by floods, the disaster management at the provincial level cannot reach it, all relevant government departments in Kabul were directed to help in coordination with the State Ministry for Disaster Management,” first Vice President Amrullah Saleh said.

The office of the Nangarhar governor said in a statement that two members of a family died and four others were injured Wednesday morning when the wall of their house collapsed in flooding.

Summer often brings heavy rainfall in northern and eastern Afghanistan, leading to floods that leave hundreds dead every year.

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