Asia - Pacific, Environment

Flash floods claim 40 lives in Afghanistan

Authorities in mountainous Nuristan province fear death toll may rise

Shadi Khan Saif   | 29.07.2021
Flash floods claim 40 lives in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan

Flash floods caused by torrential rains claimed at least 40 lives in Afghanistan's mountainous eastern Nuristan province, officials confirmed on Thursday.

Provincial Governor Hafiz Abdul Qayyum told Anadolu Agency the torrential floods in Mirdish village of Kamdish district engulfed dozens of houses with all the inmates and livestock trapped inside. He added the village was under the control of the Taliban, and the government could not send aid and rescue teams there.

He, however, stressed the government was ready to dispatch rescue and relief teams to help those in need.

Chairman of the provincial assembly, Saadullah Payendazoy, confirmed that at least 40 bodies have been found, fearing the death toll may rise.

Kamdish is a remote district of the mountainous Nuristan province bordering Pakistan.

The local media also reported floods in the northern Wakhan district bordering China and Tajikistan in the north of Afghanistan.

Nearly 200 lives were lost to floods in the war-ravaged country last year during summer while nearly 500 families were forced to flee their homes, according to estimates by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Deborah Lyons, chief of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, said on Wednesday that an estimated 18 million Afghans are facing dire humanitarian needs, which is twice the number of people in need last year. “It represents half the country. As we sit in this room today, we must have foremost on our minds these 18 million Afghans, who in the height of a hot summer, endure the fourth wave of COVID-19,” she said.

The UN has issued a humanitarian appeal for about $1.2 billion to help those in need in Afghanistan.

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