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50 dead, 2,000 houses damaged in Afghanistan floods

Photo : AP

Recent heavy rains and flash floods have inflicted devastation upon villages in northern and central Afghanistan. According to authorities, the floods claimed at least 50 lives in central Afghanistan, particularly in the Ghor province, with no precise count of injuries available as of Saturday.

Mawlawi Abdul Hai Zaeem, the head of the information department for Ghor province, reported that the heavy rains, which began on Friday, have also caused severe damage to infrastructure. Key roads have been cut off, exacerbating the challenges faced by affected communities.

In Feroz-Koh, the capital of Ghor province, the situation is dire, with 2,000 houses completely destroyed, 4,000 partially damaged, and over 2,000 shops submerged underwater. This catastrophe adds to the already grim toll of last week's flash floods in northern Afghanistan, where 315 people lost their lives and more than 1,600 sustained injuries.

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The situation further escalated on Wednesday when a helicopter operated by the Afghan air force crashed while attempting to retrieve bodies from a river in Ghor province. The crash, attributed to technical issues, resulted in one fatality and 12 injuries, as confirmed by the country's defense ministry.

Afghanistan's susceptibility to natural disasters is compounded by its vulnerability to climate change, as highlighted by the United Nations. The country's challenges have been exacerbated by a shortfall in aid following the withdrawal of foreign forces in 2021. The reduction in development aid, which once formed a crucial component of government finances, has left Afghanistan grappling with the aftermath of natural disasters without adequate resources.

This dire situation is further compounded by global crises and international condemnation of the Taliban's policies, particularly regarding the rights of Afghan women. As Afghanistan navigates these challenges, the immediate focus remains on providing relief and assistance to the affected communities while addressing the underlying vulnerabilities exacerbated by climate change and geopolitical factors.

May 18, 2024 2:52 p.m. 559

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