Afghanistan floods: At least 50 people killed as heavy rains return

Comment on the photo, Flash floods have devastated northern and central Afghanistan over the past week

At least 50 people have died in flash floods caused by heavy rains in central Afghanistan, officials said.

Authorities in Ghor province say a number of other people are missing, as people fled to safer areas just minutes before the floodwaters arrived.

They say the floods also killed thousands of livestock, destroyed about 2,000 homes and damaged many others.

The new wave of heavy rain comes in the wake of widespread flooding in the northern and central regions this week.

In the provincial capital, Firouzkuh, about 2,000 shops were flooded, and most roads leading to them were cut off, officials say.

One resident said a “huge, horrific flood” washed away everything, as he and his family rushed to safety after being alerted by officials and mosque loudspeakers.

Zaher Zahid told AFP: “I saw the floods destroy my house with my own eyes. Women and children, everyone was crying.”

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

The spokesman for the governor of the governorate, Abdel Wahed Hamas, said that dozens of people were missing.

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

UN agencies have warned that the number of people killed in the recent floods may rise, as rescue efforts have been severely hampered without reaching the affected areas.

The heavy rains came after the country experienced a long period of drought earlier in the year.

Climate analysts say Afghanistan – already war-torn and isolated from the world since the Taliban took power in 2021 – is one of the countries least prepared to address the impacts of climate change.

The Afghan Meteorological Department warned of more rain and the possibility of floods in all provinces of the country.

Baghlan, the worst-affected area in the north, remains difficult to reach by truck, according to the United Nations World Food Programme.

The United Nations says survivors displaced in previous floods were left without a home, land or source of livelihood.

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