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At least 68 dead in Afghanistan after flash floods caused by unusually heavy seasonal rains

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WorldView: G7 to discuss Afghanistan; study links climate change to deadly flooding 03:20

Flash floods from heavy seasonal rains have killed at least 68 people in Afghanistan, Taliban officials said Saturday, adding the death toll was based on preliminary reports.

Afghanistan has been witnessing unusually heavy seasonal rains.

In the hard-hit western province of Ghor, 50 people were reported dead, said Abdul Wahid Hamas, spokesman for the provincial governor. He also said the province has suffered significant financial losses after thousands of homes and properties were damaged and hundreds of hectares of agricultural land destroyed following Friday's floods, including the capital city Feroz Koh.

Afghanistan Floods
Afghan men collects their belongings from their damaged home after heavy flooding in Ghor province in western Afghanistan Saturday, May 18, 2024. Flash floods from heavy seasonal rains in Ghor province in western Afghanistan killed dozens of people and dozens remain missing, a Taliban official said on Saturday, adding the death toll was based on preliminary reports and might rise. Omid Haqjoo / AP

Meanwhile, 18 people in the northern province of Farayab were killed and two others injured on Friday, according to Esmatullah Moradi, the provincial governor's spokesman. Damages to property and land were reported across four districts and over 300 animals were killed, he added.

The U.N. food agency posted on social media platform X, saying Ghor was the most affected by the floods where 2500 families were impacted. WFP assessment teams are on the ground to deploy assistance, the post said.

The Taliban's government chief spokesman mourned "the loss of our fellow Afghans," and urged "responsible authorities ... to provide all necessary support to alleviate the suffering," in a post on X. He also called on "our benevolent donors" to help and humanitarian organizations to provide the affected communities with aid.

Last week, WFP said the exceptionally heavy rains in Afghanistan have killed more than 300 people  and destroyed thousands of houses, mostly in the northern province of Baghlan, which bore the brunt of floods on May 10.

Survivors have been left with no home, no land, and no source of livelihood, the World Food Organization said. Most of Baghlan is "inaccessible by trucks," said WFP, adding that it is resorting to every alternative it can think of to deliver food to the survivors

The latest disaster came on the heels of devastating floods that killed at least 70 people in April. The waters also destroyed about 2,000 homes, three mosques and four schools in western Farah and Herat, and southern Zabul and Kandahar provinces.

In 2022, heavy flooding from seasonal rains in eastern Afghanistan and neighboring parts of Pakistan left dozens of people dead, according to local officials.

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