Heavy rains set off flash floods in northern Afghanistan

Afgan people gather along a road before a flooded area between Samangan and Mazar-i-Sharif following a flash flood after a heavy rainfall in Feroz Nakhchir district of Samangan Province on May 11, 2024. /CFP

Afgan people gather along a road before a flooded area between Samangan and Mazar-i-Sharif following a flash flood after a heavy rainfall in Feroz Nakhchir district of Samangan Province on May 11, 2024. /CFP

Rainstorms and flash floods struck major areas of Afghanistan’s provinces of Baghlan, Takhar, Badakhshan and Ghor, killing more than 330 people, according to the World Food Programme’s Afghanistan office and local Afghan officials.

Heavy rains on May 10 wreaked havoc on villages and agricultural land throughout numerous provinces, with northern Baghlan being particularly hard struck.

An Afghan man walks near his damaged home after heavy flooding in Baghlan province in northern Afghanistan, May 11, 2024. /CFP

An Afghan man walks near his damaged home after heavy flooding in Baghlan province in northern Afghanistan, May 11, 2024. /CFP

The floods also caused losses to homes and property in several districts, according to Edayatullah Hamdard, the provincial director of Natural Disaster Management in Baghlan. He said that the death toll was preliminary and that it “might rise as many people are missing.”

The flash floods also hit the capital, Kabul, said Abdullah Janan Saiq, the Taliban’s spokesman for the State Ministry for Natural Disaster Management. He said that rescue teams bringing food and other aid have been dispatched to the affected areas.

People walk near their damaged homes after heavy flooding in Baghlan province in northern Afghanistan, May 11, 2024. /CFP

People walk near their damaged homes after heavy flooding in Baghlan province in northern Afghanistan, May 11, 2024. /CFP

Saiq said that the rescue operation is the main focus of authorities at the moment, and that he later might be able to provide more precise figures on casualties and damage.

In April, at least 70 people died from heavy rains and flash flooding in the country. About 2,000 homes, three mosques, and four schools were damaged last month. Thousands of people require humanitarian assistance. The flooding also damaged agriculture land and 2,500 animals died in the deluges, according to Saiq.

(With input from AP)