Dozens killed, missing in flash flooding in Afghanistan and Pakistan

At least 31 people have been killed and dozens more are missing due to heavy flooding from seasonal rains in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, more than a dozen people died as heavy rains and landslides hit neighbouring Pakistan.

Shafiullah Rahimi, the Taliban’s appointed spokesman for Afghanistan’s disaster ministry, said on Sunday that at least 31 people were killed, 74 were injured and 41 others were missing after flooding over the past three days.

Flash floods hit the capital Kabul, the Maidan Wardak and Ghazni provinces. He stated that the majority of the casualties were in west Kabul and Maidan Wardak. Rahimi added about 250 livestock perished in the floods.

The flooding brought further misery to the already suffering Afghanistan. In April, the United Nation’s humanitarian affairs agency said the South Asian country was facing its third consecutive year of drought, its second year of severe economic hardship and the consequences of decades of war and natural disasters.

The most recent flash flood happened in the Jalrez district of Maidan Wardak province west of Kabul. At least 12 people were killed in their sleep by rapidly rising floodwaters, said Taliban government spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid. Some 40 other people were missing after hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed, and rescue teams were busy conducting search and rescue operations, he said.

Issuing a condolence message, Mujahid called on aid groups and the Kabul administration to help the bereaved families.

The provincial governor’s office in a statement said that hundreds of homes were either damaged or destroyed and the missing are believed to be under the rubble of collapsed homes.

The statement added that hundreds of square miles of agricultural land were washed out and destroyed and the highway between Kabul and the central Bamiyan province was closed due to the floods.

In Pakistan, 13 people died and seven were injured due to heavy rains and landslides as monsoon season continued to affect parts of the country on Sunday.

In the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, nine people lost their lives over the last 48 hours in rain-related incidents.

In the Skardu area of the Gilgit Baltistan region, four family members died when a massive landslide hit their car, according to police officer Raja Mirza Hassan.

Taimur Khan, a spokesman of the provincial disaster management authority, stated that heavy rainfall and thunderstorms damaged at least 74 houses in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The provincial authorities declared an emergency in the Chitral district as rainfall triggered flash floods in the mountainous area.

Since the monsoon rains began on June 25, 101 people including 16 women and 42 children have died, according to the national disaster management authority.

In Afghanistan, natural disasters affect 200,000 people on average each year. In 2022, record floods in the monsoon season temporarily flooded a third of the country, killing about 1,700 people.

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