More than 200 die in Afghanistan during flash floods

Henry

More than 200 people have been killed in flash floods that have hit several provinces of Afghanistan, the United Nations said on Saturday. Authorities declared a state of emergency and urgently deployed rescue officers.

Heavy rain on Friday sent rivers of water and mud flowing through towns and across farmland in several provinces. The northern Baghlan was the hardest hit by this.

More than 200 people have been killed and thousands of homes destroyed or damaged in Baghlan, the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) told AFP.

Up to 1,500 houses were damaged or destroyed in one district, Baghlani Jadid, and “more than 100 people died here,” said Mohammad Fahim Safie, program officer in charge of IOM’s emergency response.

Taliban government officials said 62 people had died by Friday evening.

“Hundreds of our citizens have been affected by these disastrous floods,” said government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a statement on X (Twitter) on Saturday. He did not distinguish between the numbers of people who died or were injured, but told AFP “dozens have died”.

Rain also caused damage in northeastern Badakhshan, central Ghor and western Herat provinces on Friday.

Emergency services were soon deployed to assist injured and stranded persons, according to the Ministry of Defence.

“In addition to deaths, the floods also caused huge financial losses to the people,” said Ahmad Seyar Sajid, head of the disaster management department. He estimates 20 people have died in Takhar, where he is located.

The country, which has been ravaged by war for four decades, is one of the poorest in the world.