Afghanistan flash floods kill more than 50
Soldiers and an Afghan local police patarol near Baghlan on March 27, 2012 - by Johannes Eisele
The floods in the remote mountainous district of Baghlan province come a month after a landslide triggered by heavy rains buried a village and killed 300 people in a nearby region.
The twin disasters highlight the challenges facing underdeveloped Afghanistan's next leader as the country heads into the second round of the presidential election on June 14.
"People have lost everything they had -- houses, property, villages, agricultural fields, cattle," Baghlan police spokesman Jawed Basharat said.
"There's nothing left for them to survive. People don't even having drinking water," he added. "They urgently need water, food items, blankets and tents."
Afghan disaster management officials said they were scrambling to get food and medical aid to the area after torrential rains unleashed the floods.
Officials recovered scores of dead bodies from the area, including women and children, with several people said to be missing, according to a spokesman for the provincial governor.
"Heavy torrential rains followed by flash floods have killed more than 50 people in Guzargah-e-Nur district of Baghlan province," Mahmood Haqmal told AFP, warning that the initial death toll was expected to rise.
"This floods have forced thousands of people to flee their houses, and move to safer areas."
The governor of Guzargah-e-Nur, Noor Mohammad Guzar, told AFP the death toll was 66.
"Yesterday's floods have destroyed four villages, and washed away 2,000 residential houses, agricultural fields and also killed thousands of cattle," Guzar added.
Officials were assessing the extent of the damage on life and property in the affected area, the deputy head of the National Disaster Management Authority said .
"Our teams have also provided some edibles (food items) and medication to the affected people. More aid will get there soon," said Mohammad Aslam Sayas.
But Basharat, the Baghlan police spokesman, claimed that the affected families had received no assistance so far from the central government or relief agencies.
Last month a landslide triggered by heavy rains buried a village in a remote area of northeast Badakhshan province killing at least 300 people.
The May 2 disaster left hundreds of families homeless in Argu district of the mountainous province which borders Tajikistan, China and Pakistan.
The floods and landslides follow recent severe flooding that have affected a vast swathe of Afghanistan, particularly northern provinces with 175 people dead and tens of thousands displaced.
Flooding and landslides often occur during the spring rainy season in northern Afghanistan, with flimsy mud houses offering little protection against rising water levels and torrents of mud.
Afghan presidential front-runner Abdullah Abdullah faces former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani in next week's vote run-off.
- Pakistan army chief intervenes in political crisis
- Gene studies of Ebola in Sierra Leone show virus is mutating fast
- Virgin Australia annual net loss almost triples
- Canadian accused of dismembering Chinese student set for trial
- No charges against girl in fatal gun-range shooting
- Israeli police find body of missing US student
- Pollution, smoking, roads, obesity kill 4.7 million a year in China
- Foley, other hostages held by Islamic State were waterboarded, report shows
- West Africa Ebola outbreak could infect 20,000 people, says WHO
- 43 UN peacekeepers seized in Syrian Golan Heights
- Pengkalan Kubor by-election on September 25
- Nik Nazmi declines PAS youth’;s support for the MB post
- Australian PM to visit India for potential uranium deal
- Musa Hitam upset with Pakatan over Selangor MB issue, says it does not reflect well on opposition
- Malaysia Airlines suspends shares ahead of reform plan
- Uber says it is willing to talk to transport authorities
- Hsien Loong pledges to strengthen ties with Malaysia – Bernama
- Anwar has lost support of the majority of Malays in Selangor, says Isma
- Palace does not want remote-controlled MB, says report
- Merdeka theme song composer won’t mind a bit of credit