'Calamitous' flash floods kill more than 300 people in Afghanistan

Credit: AP

Afghanistan flooding kills 300
The Taliban government said hundreds had died following the "calamitous" floods. Credit: AP

Flash flooding killed more than 300 people and destroyed over 1,000 houses after unusually heavy seasonal rains in Afghanistan, the U.N. food agency said.

Floods hit the country over the last few weeks, mostly in the northern province of Baghlan, which saw further deluges on Friday.

The World Food Program said it was distributing fortified biscuits to the survivors, as videos posted on social media showed dozens of people gathered at the hospital in Baghlan looking for their loved ones.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the chief spokesman for the Taliban government, posted on the social media platform X that "hundreds ... have succumbed to these calamitous floods, while a substantial number have sustained injuries.”

An Afghan man stands near his damaged home after heavy flooding in Baghlan. Credit: AP

Mujahid identified the provinces of Badakhshan, Baghlan, Ghor and Herat as the worst hit. He added that “the extensive devastation” has resulted in “significant financial losses.”

He said the government had ordered all available resources mobilised to rescue people, transport the injured and recover the dead.

The deaths follow floods in April which killed at least 70 people and damaged 2,000 homes.

Dead bodies of Afghan people are placed on the ground after the flooding. Credit: AP

Afghanistan is still recovering from a string of earthquakes at the beginning of the year as well as severe flooding in March.

Richard Bennett, U.N. special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, said on X that the floods are a stark reminder of Afghanistan’s vulnerability to climate change and both immediate aid and long-term planning by the Taliban and international actors are needed.

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