Flash floods leave at least 20 dead in Afghanistan

World Sunday 03/March/2019 12:52 PM
By: Times News Service
Flash floods leave at least 20 dead in Afghanistan

Muscat: At least 20 people including children were killed in southern Afghanistan by flash floods that engulfed up to 2,000 homes and swept away cars, according to the U.N. agency coordinating relief efforts.

Heavy rains struck Kandahar city and six districts, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) confirmed in a statement.

In its report, the agency said, "Flash floods triggered by the heavy rain have reportedly killed 20 people, including a number of children, when their homes collapsed or the vehicles they were travelling in were swept away. At least 10 people, including children, are still missing in Arghandab, Daman, Spinboldak, and Dand districts."

"It is anticipated that up to 2,000 homes may have been damaged across all affected districts including Kandahar City. Severe damage to infrastructure has been reported, including to homes. In Kandahar city alone, an estimated 600 houses have been damaged or destroyed," the report continued.

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

The OCHA statement said a large number of 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 preventing the pace of immediate relief and rescue operations, said a senior official working for the Afghanistan Natural Disaster Management Authority in Kabul.