Flash floods kill hundreds in Afghanistan, Taliban says

Flash floods from seasonal rains in Afghanistan have killed hundreds of people and injured a “substantial number”, a Taliban official said.

The floods mostly hit the north of the country. The province of Baghlan bore the brunt of the deluges on Friday with officials reporting at least 50 people dead and properties destroyed in multiple districts.

In neighbouring Takhar province, state-owned media outlets reported the floods killing at least 20 people.

Zabihullah Mujahid, chief spokesman for the Taliban government, posted on social media on Saturday saying that “hundreds … have succumbed to these calamitous floods, while a substantial number have sustained injuries”.

He underscored the provinces of Badakhshan, Baghlan, Ghor and Herat as the worst hit and added that “the extensive devastation” has resulted in “significant financial losses”.

He also said the government had ordered all available resources mobilised to rescue people, transport the injured and recover the bodies of the dead.

The Taliban defence ministry said on Saturday that the country’s air force has started evacuating people in Baghlan, and has rescued a large number stuck in floods and taken 100 injured people to military hospitals in the region.

Richard Bennett, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Afghanistan said the floods are a stark reminder of Afghanistan’s vulnerability to the climate crisis and both immediate aid and long-term planning by the Taliban and international actors are needed.

Videos on social media showed dozens of people gathered behind the hospital in Baghlan looking for their loved ones. An official tells them that they should go and start digging graves while staff are preparing the bodies.

At least 70 people died from heavy rains and flash flooding in the country in April, officials said. About 2,000 homes, three mosques and four schools were also damaged.

Sourse: breakingnews.ie

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