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At Least 75 Bodies Recovered From Afghan Flood Area

According to one official, flooding in Afghanistan's Baghlan province washed away 2,000 residential houses and also killed thousands of cattle. (file photo)
Afghan officials say they have recovered some 75 bodies from an area of the northern Baghlan Province that was hit by flash floods.

Mahmood Haqmal, spokesman for the provincial governor, said on June 7 that many other people are still presumed missing and the death toll could rise.

The flooding hit the Guzargah-e-Nur district of Baghlan Province on June 6, forcing thousands to flee.

Guzargah-e-Nur district governor Noor Mohammad Guzar said the floods destroyed four villages.

He said the water had washed away 2,000 residential houses, agricultural fields, and also killed thousands of cattle.

Ahmad Nasir Kohzad, head of the provincial disaster response unit, said more than 800 families had been affected by the natural disaster.

Guzargah-e-Nur is located some 180 kilometers north of the provincial capital, Pul-e Khumri.

The office of President Hamid Karzai said in a statement that he had ordered urgent assistance for flood-affected families in the province.

Officials have sent emergency assistance, including food, medications, blankets, and tents to the affected area.

The provincial government has also distributed 20,000 Afghanis (some $350) in cash to each family affected by the natural disaster.

RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan correspondent in Baghlan says aid is being transferred by helicopters as the roads were destroyed by floods.

Afghanistan's Defense Ministry has sent two helicopters to the area to provide assistance.

A government delegation from Kabul has visited the affected villages to assess their needs.

Afghanistan has suffered severe rains and floods in recent months.

Hundreds have been killed, thousands displaced, and roads, farmland, and houses have been destroyed by floods.

Last month, a landslide triggered by heavy rain buried large sections of a remote village in the northeastern Badakhshan Province.

Officials estimate that up to 2,500 people were killed in the May 2 landslide.
With reporting by AFP, Reuters, dpa, and AP