Cataclysm in Afghanistan: UN reports over 300 dead in floods

The Afghan government estimates that “hundreds” have perished in the recent floods that have struck Afghanistan.

Flood in Afghanistan.
Photo courtesy: Tasnim News Agency

Floods in Baghlan province, northeastern Afghanistan, have resulted in 311 fatalities, according to a preliminary report released on Saturday by the World Food Programme (WFP).

Earlier, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), another UN agency, reported over 200 deaths due to these catastrophic floods that occurred on Friday.

The Afghan government estimates that “hundreds” have perished in the recent floods that have struck Afghanistan, particularly affecting the provinces of Baghlan, Badakhshan, Ghor, and Herat in the north, center, and west of the country.

“Regrettably,” announced Taliban deputy minister of Information and chief spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid, “hundreds of our citizens have succumbed to these floods, and a significant number have been injured.”

Mujahid also acknowledged that this “deluge” has caused “extensive devastation to residential properties, leading to substantial economic losses.”

“In this time of hardship, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan expresses its unwavering solidarity with the grieving families and the injured and orders the relevant authorities, including the Ministry of Disaster Management, the Ministry of Interior, and provincial officials, to swiftly mobilize all available resources for rescue operations, evacuation of the deceased, and medical treatment of the injured,” stated the Taliban spokesperson.

This year’s floods, partly due to the El Niño phenomenon, are seriously hampering crop production and the flow of food supplies, particularly in the north and northeast of the country, according to the International Rescue Committee.

It is worth remembering that last month, Afghanistan was already hit by sudden floods caused by heavy rains, which at the time claimed the lives of more than 100 people, destroyed over 1,000 homes, and ruined more than 24,000 hectares of farmland, according to NGO estimates.

“Sudden floods ravage Afghanistan, killing over 300 people in Baghlan and destroying more than 1,000 homes,” stated the WFP, attributing the natural disaster to “unusually” heavy rains in recent weeks and claiming to be distributing food to the survivors.

The government has currently reduced the death toll to 153 across several provinces.

“The casualty count is high, yet based on initial information, 153 individuals have died and hundreds have been injured, though the death toll may rise,” said EFE spokesperson for the Interior Ministry, Abdul Mateen Qani.

According to data provided by the Taliban, 131 individuals died in Baghlan, 21 in neighboring Takhar, and another 2 in Badakhshan.

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