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Video: 300+ killed in Afghanistan flood

Ambulances arrive on the road in Paktika province, Afghanistan. (Saifurahman Safi/Xinhua via ZUMA Press/TNS)
May 13, 2024

Officials estimate that over 300 people were killed and over 2,000 homes were destroyed in major flash flooding that took place in northern Afghanistan on Friday night.

According to the BBC, flash flooding in the Baghlan province of Afghanistan, which is located north of Kabul, started after a heavy rainfall accumulated on Friday.

Rana Deraz, a United Nations communications officer, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Saturday that there had been 311 fatalities, 2,011 houses destroyed, and 2,800 houses damaged in the Baghlan province due to Friday’s flooding.

In a situation report published on Sunday, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated, “Northern Afghanistan witnessed an unprecedented rainfall, triggering violent flooding that has affected over 2,000 homes across 8 districts as of May 11, 2024. The disaster has claimed the lives of more than 300 individuals, with several others still missing and many left homeless. Hundreds remain trapped in their homes beneath debris and mud. Extensive rescue and search operations are ongoing, suggesting that the death toll could rise significantly.”

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According to the BBC, Afghanistan has experienced an abnormal amount of heavy rainfall over the past few weeks. As a result of the unusual rainfall, floods have led to a growing death toll in the country since the middle of April.

The BBC reported that flash floods, which kill multiple people each year in Afghanistan’s rural regions, occur when the nation’s drainage systems are not able to adequately handle heavy rainfall. The outlet also noted that Afghanistan’s dry winter has resulted in the soil absorbing less of the rainfall.

The World Food Program in Afghanistan shared a video Saturday on social media of the flash flooding in Afghanistan. “Flash floods ravage #Afghanistan, killing more than 300 people in Baghlan and destroying more than 1000 houses,” the World Food Program in Afghanistan tweeted. “This has been one of many floods over the last few weeks, due to unusually heavy rainfall. WFP is now distributing fortified biscuits to the survivors.”