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Thousands of homes destroyed, over 300 dead as flash floods ravage northern Afghanistan

satellite image afghanistan may 10 2024 aqua modis

Northern Afghanistan is facing a catastrophic humanitarian crisis following severe flash flooding that began on Friday, May 10, 2024. The latest reports confirm 315 deaths and injuries to over 1 600 people, with Baghlan Province bearing the brunt of the devastation. Authorities fear the death toll will continue rising.

Northern Afghanistan has been devastated by intense flash flooding since Friday, leading to tragic loss of life and widespread destruction. Initially reported at 72 fatalities, the death toll has risen to 315 on Sunday morning, with more than 1 600 people injured and many still missing.

The provinces of Baghlan, Badakhshan, Takhar, Ghor, and Herat have all been hit hard, with Baghlan experiencing the most severe impact. The floods destroyed homes and other buildings, roads, power lines, and submerged agricultural fields.

There are 311 fatalities, 2 011 houses destroyed, and 2 800 houses damaged in the Baghlan province alone, said Rana Deraz, a communications officer for a UN agency in Afghanistan. Three mosques and four schools were also affected.

At least 20 people were killed in neighboring Takhar province, local officials reported.

“Hundreds of our fellow citizens have succumbed to these calamitous floods… The deluge has wrought extensive devastation upon residential properties, resulting in significant financial losses,” Taliban government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.

Mohammad Akram Akbari, the provincial director of natural disaster management, described the situation in Badakhshan, a rugged, mountainous province, as dire. He reported “heavy financial losses in several areas” and raised concerns about casualties in the Tishkan district, where floodwaters have isolated approximately 20 000 residents.

Kabul has also been affected, according to Abdullah Janan Saiq, the Taliban’s spokesman for the State Ministry for Natural Disaster Management, who stated that rescue teams are active, providing essential food and aid to those in need.

The main road connecting Kabul to northern Afghanistan is closed, the BBC reported.

The flooding has impacted roughly 600 000 people across the region, with children making up over half of those affected, as reported by Save the Children. The organization is mobilizing support by dispatching mobile health and child protection teams.

Most of Afghanistan experienced heavy rains and flooding since mid-April, resulting in more than 100 fatalities and heavy structural and agricultural losses.

The country is still recovering from devastating earthquakes in October 2023 that left over 1 500 dead and nearly 3 000 injured.

References:

1 More than 300 killed in Afghanistan flash floods – Al Jazeera – May 11, 2024

2 Afghanistan flash floods kill more than 300 as torrents of water and mud crash through villages – AFP – May 12, 2024

3 Flash floods kill more than 300 people in northern Afghanistan after heavy rains, UN says – AP – May 11, 2024

4 At least 300 people killed by flash floods in Afghanistan as humanitarian emergency looms – CNN – May 12, 2024

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