3 Mar 2019

Flash floods in Afghanistan engulf thousands of homes, kill 20

7:37 pm on 3 March 2019

More than 20 people, including children, have been killed in southern Afghanistan by flash floods that engulfed up to 2000 homes and swept away cars.

 Farida Amini / Anadolu Agency

Floods struck Afghanistan last year and have caused widespread damage this week. Photo: 2018 Anadolu Agency/ AFP

Heavy rains struck Kandahar city and six districts on Friday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement.

Afghan government officials said hundreds of houses in Herat province were destroyed in flash floods.

Flood-affected families have been evacuated to secure areas in the districts and Kandahar city, including schools, mosques and government buildings.

At least 10 people, including children, were missing in Arghandab, Daman, Spin Boldak and Dand districts.

The OCHA statement said a large number of Kochi (nomadic) families, about 500 people, were stranded on the river bank and there was an urgent need for air support to rescue them.

The rugged mountainous terrain, heavy snowfall and lack of roads were slowing the pace of immediate relief and rescue operations, said a senior official working for the Afghanistan Natural Disaster Management Authority in Kabul.

- Reuters

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