10 May 2024, 23:51

Flash floods kill 50 in one day in north Afghanistan

KABUL, May  10, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - At least 50 people, mainly women and

children, were killed Friday in flash flooding that ripped through
Afghanistan's Baghlan province, in the north of the country, a local official
told AFP.

"So far, the number of dead is 50 as per the hospital authorities of
Baghlan-e-Markazi district of Baghlan province," said Hedayatullah Hamdard, the
head of the provincial natural disaster management department, adding the toll
could rise.

The official explained that heavy seasonal rains sparked the flooding, and
residents were unprepared for the sudden rush of water.

Emergency personnel were "searching for any possible victims under the mud
and rubble, with the help of security forces from the national army and
police," Hamdard said late Friday.

"The weather is very gloomy right now and might pour down again," he added.
Dozens of tents, blankets and food were provided to those who lost their
homes, the official said.

Video footage seen on social media showed huge torrents of muddy water
swamping roads -- and bodies shrouded in white and black cloth.

In one video clip, children are heard crying and a group of men are looking
at floodwaters, in which bits of broken wood and debris from homes can be seen.

Since mid-April, flash flooding and other floods have left about 100 people
dead in 10 of Afghanistan's provinces, with no region entirely spared,
according to authorities.

Farmland has been swamped in a country where 80 percent of the more than 40
million people depend on agriculture to survive.

Afghanistan -- which had a relatively dry winter, making it more difficult
for the soil to absorb rainfall -- is vulnerable to climate change.

The nation, ravaged by four decades of war, is one of the poorest in the
world and, according to scientists, one of the worst prepared to face the
consequences of global warming.

Afghanistan, which is responsible for only 0.06 percent of the world's
greenhouse gas emissions, ranks sixth on the list of countries most at risk
from climate change, experts say.

Half of Afghanistan's population lives under the poverty line, and 15
million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to the World Bank.

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