KUNDUZ: Flash floods have killed more than 70 people in northern Afghanistan, washing away hundreds of homes and forcing thousands to flee, officials said Saturday warning that the death toll was expected to rise.
The floods in a 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 about the floods.
“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, which forced thousands of people to flee their houses.
The governor of the province, Sultan Mohammad Ebadi, said the death toll stood at 74, warning that the extent of the disaster was “massive” and that the toll was expected to rise further.
Bodies of women and children were among those recovered from the inundated areas, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said, adding that scores of people were missing.
“There is a lot of stagnant water, and there are more bodies under the rubble and mud,” Mohammad Nasim Kohzad, head of NDMA in Baghlan, told AFP. “We are still looking for other victims of this flood.”