Flash flood kills at least 113 in Afghanistan

As the government struggles to contain an all-out Taliban offensive, Afghanistan is also facing a natural disaster. At least 113 people died in a flood that took place from Wednesday to Thursday in Nuristan province in the northeast of the country, according to a new report released on Sunday.

According to Tamim Azimi, spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Disaster Management, “110 people are still missing, 173 houses were destroyed, as well as ten businesses and six bridges” due to torrential rains in Kamdesh district, about 200 km northeast of Kabul. This district, on the border with Pakistan, is a mountainous and difficult to access area.

“The area is under Taliban control, but we were able to send relief teams with those from the Afghan Red Crescent,” said Tamim Azimi, adding that the search for the missing had continued. Saeed Momand, a spokesman for the provincial governor, also confirmed the death toll of 113, adding that the exact number of missing is currently unknown. He said that 11 km of roads were destroyed.

Disasters of this kind are not uncommon in the country and claim many lives every year, especially in poor rural areas, where homes are often fragile and built-in risky areas. In August 2020, a flood killed around 100 people in the town of Charikar. Rescue and aid delivery operations after natural disasters, especially in isolated areas, are often hampered by the lack of equipment and infrastructure in this country impoverished by 40 years of war.

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