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UN says more than 200 killed in Afghanistan flash floods

A young man carries his belongings as he walks along a mud-covered road following a flash flood after a heavy rainfall in Laqiha village of Baghlan-i-Markazi district in Baghlan province on May 11, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

Flash floods have ripped through northern Afghanistan, leaving more than 200 people dead in Baghlan province.

The United Nations said on Saturday that more than 200 people were killed and thousands of houses were destroyed or damaged in the massive flooding caused by the rain the day before.

The UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM), citing figures reported by the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority, said up to 1,500 homes were damaged or destroyed, and “more than 100 people died” in Baghlani Jadid district alone.

Elsewhere, multiple provinces across Afghanistan witnessed flash flooding, with officials in northern Takhar province reporting 20 dead on Saturday. Heavy damage caused by rain was also reported in northeastern Badakhshan province, central Ghor province, and western Herat, officials said.

The Taliban government spokesperson told AFP that dozens of people had died in floods as of Friday night. In a statement on X, Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said “hundreds of our fellow citizens have succumbed to these calamitous floods.”

Afghanistan’s defense ministry said emergency personnel had been deployed to the affected areas and were rushing to rescue injured and stranded people.

Heavy flooding in Afghanistan left 12 killed and dozens missing last year.

Afghanistan, ravaged by decades of war and US-led occupation, is one of the poorest countries in the world.

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