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Flash floods kill 50 in western Afghanistan

KABUL (AFP) – Flash flooding has killed at least 50 people in western Afghanistan, provincial police said on Saturday, a week after hundreds were washed away in the north of the country.

The floods on Friday also destroyed about 2,000 houses, and damaged thousands more homes and businesses, Ghor police spokesman Abdul Rahman Badri said in a statement. The fresh flooding in the country – which is highly vulnerable to climate change – comes as survivors of the May 10 flash floods in northern Baghlan province continue to search for missing relatives.

“Fifty residents of Ghor province were killed by the floods on Friday and a number of others are missing,” Badri said. “These floods have also killed thousands of cattle… They have destroyed hundreds of hectares of agricultural land, hundreds of bridges and culverts, and destroyed thousands of trees,” he added.

Major roads into and within the province were blocked.

Head of the province’s disaster management department Abu Obaidullah said it was an “emergency situation”.

The floods hit several districts in the province, including the capital Chaghcharan, where the streets “are full of mud”, Obaidullah said. 

“The situation is really concerning,” he told AFP, adding that victims were in need of shelter, food
and water. 

The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) and Taleban officials said over 300 people died as a result of the flood disaster earlier this month that left homes and roads coated in thick mud. The destruction of roads and bridges hampered rescue efforts, with United Nations agencies and Taleban authorities warning the death tolls would rise.

A man at a flood-hit area in Borka district, Baghlan province, northern Afghanistan. PHOTO: XINHUA