at least twenty dead and thirty injured in flash floods
In eastern Afghanistan, at least 20 people died and more than 3,000 homes were destroyed in flash floods caused by heavy rains, officials said on Sunday (August 21st). Heavy rains have fallen over the past 24 hours in part of Logar province, south of Kabul. Among the twenty victims, nine children were identified. Thirty other people were injured, according to a statement from the governor’s office.
The floods also destroyed dozens of irrigation canals and around 5,000 hectares of agricultural land, mostly orchards, it added. About 2,000 head of cattle also perished.
Flood risks in twenty-one provinces
Security forces and NGOs were evacuating victims to safe areas after their homes were destroyed, the statement said. “We urge the international community (…) to join Afghans at this critical time and spare no effort to help the victims”government spokesman Bilal Karimi said in a statement.
For the next few days, the country’s weather services are forecasting heavy rain with the risk of flooding in twenty-one provinces. Dozens of Afghans die each year from torrential rains, especially in poor rural areas where poorly constructed houses can easily collapse.
Since the return to power of the Islamic fundamentalists Taliban a year ago, aid and disaster relief programs funded by the international community have been significantly reduced in Afghanistan. Some countries fear that the assistance will be diverted by the Taliban and used to consolidate their power.