Flash floods kill 50 in one day in northern Afghanistan

Flash floods kill 50 in one day in northern Afghanistan
Flash floods kill 50 in one day in northern Afghanistan

At least 50 people, “mostly women and children”, died Friday during flash floods in Baghlan province, in northern Afghanistan, a local official told AFP.

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“The death toll so far is 50 according to the Baghlan-e-Markazi district hospital,” said Hedayatullah Hamdard, head of the provincial authority in charge of natural disaster management, and “it could increase” .

“Seasonal rains caused flash floods and people, who had not been able to prepare, were unable to save themselves, which explains such losses,” he added.

Rescue teams are “looking for possible victims caught in the mud or under the rubble”, he said again in the evening, claiming to fear “further rain”.

He also assured that he had brought “80 tents”, blankets and food for “those who lost their homes”.

Videos posted on social media show violent torrents of mud covering the streets, as well as bodies wrapped in shrouds.

On one of them we hear children crying while men contemplate a body of water where buildings of clay and wood emerge.

Since mid-April, flash floods and floods have already caused around a hundred deaths in ten provinces of the country and no region has been spared, according to the authorities.

They have also submerged much agricultural land in a country where 80% of the more than 40 million Afghans depend on agriculture for their survival and destroyed hundreds of homes.

Afghanistan, which experienced a very dry winter making it difficult for the soil to absorb rain, is very vulnerable to climatic upheavals.

This country ravaged by four decades of war and which is among the poorest in the world is one of the most ill-prepared for the consequences of climate change, according to scientists.

Responsible for just 0.06% of greenhouse gas emissions, Afghanistan is the sixth most vulnerable country to climate change, according to scientists.

Half of the Afghan population lives below the poverty line and 15 million people are food insecure, according to the World Bank.

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