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Flash Floods Kill At Least 100 In Afghanistan


A man looks for his belongings after a heavy flood in the Charikar city of Parwan Province north of Kabul.
A man looks for his belongings after a heavy flood in the Charikar city of Parwan Province north of Kabul.

Flash floods caused by torrential rains in Afghanistan have killed at least 100 people and injured more than 300 others in Parwan Province just north of Kabul, Afghan officials said August 26.

Ghulam Bahauddin Jailani, Afghanistan's state minister for natural-disaster management, told RFE/RL that the floods have also destroyed more than 1,000 houses in Parwan Province.

Wahida Shahkar, a spokeswoman for the government of Parwan Province north of Kabul, said the death toll was likely to rise as rescue teams continue to locate victims people buried beneath destroyed houses.

Abdul Qasim Sangin, the head of the provincial hospital in the Parwan's capital of Charikar, told RFE/RL that 68 bodies and 90 injured people had been transported to the facility by early August 26.

Sangin said most of the victims were women and children. He said some hospitalized survivors were in critical condition.

Shahkar said the flash floods occurred overnight in the central part of Parwan Province after heavy rains.

She said the floods destroyed many homes in Charikar, which is located about 60 kilometers north of Kabul, near Bagram Air Field.

Shahkar called on Afghanistan's central government to deliver aid and provide immediate support for rescue workers who were digging frantically through mud and debris in an attempt to reach trapped survivors.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has ordered aid deliveries for Parwan and other provinces. Ghani also expressed his condolences to the families of victims.

Ahmad Tameem Azimi, a spokesman for Afghanistan's Disaster Management Ministry, said the flooding had blocked highways linking Kabul to eastern and northern provinces.

"Along with rescuing people, we are working to open the highways back to the traffic," Azimi said.

Azimi said more than 1,000 people in Parwan Province had been displaced.

Houses and roads were also destroyed in the provinces of Kapisa, Panjshir, and Paktia.

Azimi said ground and air support has been sent to those provinces.

Reports say hundreds of hectares of agricultural land have been destroyed, with crops wiped out in the eastern province of Nuristan.

Azimi said two people were killed and five injured by floods that destroyed several houses in Maidan-Wardak Province to the west of Kabul.

In Nangarhar Province, the provincial governor's office said two members of a family died and four others were injured when a wall of their house collapsed in flooding.

Summer often brings torential rainfall to central and eastern Afghanistan, with floods killing hundreds of people every year.

With reporting by AP, AFP, and dpa

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