Heavy rain, floods kill 22 people in Afghanistan

Published May 6, 2022
Local residents stand near a road covered in debris and mud a day after flash floods in Afghanistan's Shinwari district, on May 5, 2022. — AFP
Local residents stand near a road covered in debris and mud a day after flash floods in Afghanistan's Shinwari district, on May 5, 2022. — AFP

KABUL: Heavy rain and flooding killed 22 people, destroyed hundreds of homes and damaged crops in Afghanistan, which is already facing a humanitarian crisis, a disaster management official said on Thursday.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed solidarity with the people of Afghanistan facing loss of lives due to the floods and said Pakistan was sending emergency relief goods for the victims.

The Taliban government, struggling to cope with the disaster that has affected more than a third of its provinces, will approach international relief organisations for help, officials said.

“Due to flooding and storms in 12 provinces, 22 people have died and 40 injured,” said Hassibullah Shekhani, head of communications and information at Afghanistan’s National Disaster Management Authority.

The rain and flooding was particularly severe in the western provinces of Badghis and Faryab and the northern province of Baghlan.

Afghanistan has been suffering from drought in recent years, made worse by climate change, with low crop yields raising fears of serious food shortages.

Shekhani said 500 houses were destroyed, 2,000 damaged, 300 head of livestock killed and some 3,000 acres of crops damaged.

He said the International Committee of the Red Cross was helping and officials would approach other international organisations for help.

Relief goods

“We are with the Afghan people in this difficult hour and will provide them every possible assistance,” Shehbaz Sharif said in a statement issued by the PM Office on Thursday.

The prime minister expressed sorrow over the loss of precious lives due to the floods in 10 provinces of Afghanistan. He called upon the international community to come forward and provide emergency assistance to the Afghan people in the wake of devastating floods.

Published in Dawn, May 6th, 2022

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