At least 110 people died and around 2 000 houses were destroyed after violent flash flooding swept through Parwan, Afghanistan, on August 26, 2020, with authorities noting that the death toll may continue to rise. The disaster management added that dozens were injured and more than 1 000 people have been evacuated.
Torrential rains poured overnight, triggering the deluge that caught people off guard. Gushing waters carried mud and debris, toppling houses and sweeping away bodies in their wake.
Mahmood Samadi, a resident of Parwan's capital Charikar, said he was awakened by the sound of floodwaters raging through his neighborhood, prompting him to evacuate his family out of the city.
Samadi told The New York Times that when he came back, his house was submerged and six homes on his street had already been destroyed.
"I don't know about the exact casualties in our street, but I know many people were killed and wounded."
Another local described the moment the floods struck. "I grabbed the window and was holding it for two hours until the neighbors came to rescue me," said a 70-year-old resident named Hamida, adding that she had lost everything.
According to Parwan governor Fazludin Ayar, the fatalities were estimated to be hundreds, including 11 members of the same family. Rescue teams said many people remain buried under the rubbles, and it is feared that the death toll may rise.
Disaster Management Ministry spokesman Ahmad Tameem Azimi reported that more than 2 000 houses were destroyed across the province, and more than 1 000 have been displaced so far.
Wide swaths of agricultural land have been ravaged, with the downpour wiping out all crops in eastern Nuristan province. Many roads were also destroyed in northern Kapisa, Panjshir, and eastern Paktia, Azimi added.
In a statement, President Ashraf Ghani ordered emergency assistance to be provided promptly to the victims. Many survivors are in dire need of food and shelter.
Flash floods hit Parwan province it triggered a huge crisis. pic.twitter.com/QAVE5dj82V— Ata Shamulzai (@AtaurRahmanAt14) August 26, 2020
Featured image credit: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty/YouTube