Afghanistan. Flash floods kill at least 50 in the west of the country

Afghanistan. Flash floods kill at least 50 in the west of the country
Afghanistan. Flash floods kill at least 50 in the west of the country

Flash floods in western Afghanistan have killed at least 50 people, provincial police said Saturday, a week after similar floods killed more than 300 people in the north.

“Fifty residents of Ghor province (west) were killed by Friday’s floods and a number of others are missing,” police spokesman Abdul Rahman Badri said.

2000 homes destroyed

Some 2,000 homes were destroyed, thousands more damaged. “These terrible floods also killed thousands of livestock, destroyed hundreds of hectares of agricultural land, hundreds of bridges and thousands of trees,” he added.

Zahir Zahid, a resident of Firozkoh district, told AFP that he and his family ran to higher ground when they were alerted by aerial gunfire and mosque loudspeakers of the imminent arrival. floods.

“Five minutes later, a huge, horrible flash flood swept through and swept away everything. I saw her destroy my house with my own eyes,” he said, reached by telephone.

“Women and children, everyone was crying. In our neighborhood, around a hundred houses were swept away, there is nothing left.”

Sherzai was shocked by the force of the flood. “We thought it would be like in the past, that if a flood came it wouldn’t be major, but it was very strong,” he said: “it took everything in our house, there’s nothing left nothing. »

“Really worrying situation”

Obaidullah Muradian, head of the province’s disaster management department, calls it an “emergency situation.”

Floods have affected several districts of the province, including the capital Chaghcharan, where the streets “are full of mud”, he told AFP. “The situation is really worrying” and the victims need shelter, food and water.

At the end of last week other provinces, including Baghlan in the north, had already suffered flash floods, and further bad weather is expected, warns the World Health Organization (WHO).

This new episode comes as survivors of these floods continue to search for missing family members. Efforts complicated by the destruction of bridges and roads.

At least 300 people have been killed in flooding in the north, according to the World Food Program (WFP) and Taliban officials.

“Disaster upon disaster”

The United Nations special rapporteur for human rights in Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, said on Saturday on X that after emergency interventions, financial support will be needed to help survivors.

“I urge donors to provide more funds for humanitarian aid, but also for essential #ClimateAction to leave no one behind in Afghanistan,” he said.

The rains came after an abnormally dry winter and several years of drought in this country, which is among the most exposed to climate change, according to experts.

Afghanistan, which is “exceptionally flood-prone,” is experiencing abnormally high rainfall this spring, water management expert Mohammad Assem Mayar said in a report by the Afghanistan Analysts Network.

“With these erratic weather situations, it has been disaster after disaster, which has plunged the villagers into extreme poverty,” Timothy Anderson, in charge of Afghanistan at the WFP, said on Tuesday.

The country, ravaged by four decades of war, is one of the poorest in the world. Around 80% of its 40 million inhabitants depend on agriculture for their survival.

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