Afghanistan: at least 46 dead in flash floods north of Kabul

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At least 46 people have died in flash floods caused by intense overnight rainfall in the town of Charikar, north of Kabul, the Afghan government said on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Health, in a statement, also reported 80 injured.

“At around 2 a.m. (local time), flash floods triggered by heavy rains hit Charikar,” government spokeswoman Whaida Shahkar told AFP. 90 injured.

Rescuers continue their work to find possible victims, while more than 500 houses have been destroyed, she continued.

“We have reports of people still trapped under the debris,” said spokesman for the Ministry of Disaster Management, Tamim Azimi.

“We have two families in our neighborhood who are still under debris,” confirmed Abdul Majid, a resident of Charikar, interviewed by the Tolo news television channel. “We need more rescuers,” he added.

Head of state Ashraf Ghani has ordered emergency aid to be sent to Charikar, the presidency said in a statement.

Seventeen corpses and around 40 injured, including many women and children, were taken to Parwan provincial hospital, according to its director Abdul Qasim Sangin.

On social media, videos show residents of Charikar calling for help, as others buy coffins to bury loved ones. Cars appear to be floating in muddy water.

Flood disasters are common in the country, especially in poor rural areas where houses are often fragile and built in risk areas.

Rescues and aid delivery 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.

Several weeks ago, at least 15 children and a woman were killed, and dozens of homes were destroyed by a flash flood in a village in Nangarhar province, eastern Afghanistan.

According to the Ministry of Disaster Management, flash floods were recorded overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday in at least five other provinces of the country, without however causing any victims.

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