Afghan flooding: Death toll hits 81

2014-06-08 09:23
Floods

Floods

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Kabul - More than 80 bodies have been found two days after a devastating flash flood in Afghanistan's mountainous and remote north, a provincial official said on Sunday, as police and villagers scoured the rugged terrain for missing people and Army helicopters flew in supplies to thousands left homeless by the disaster.

Lieutenant Fazel Rahman, the police chief in the Guzirga i-Nur district of Baghlan province, said the death toll from Friday's flash flooding had climbed to 81 from 54.

He said 850 houses across several villages were completely destroyed and more than 1 000 were damaged by the heavy rain and flooding, leaving thousands of people in need of shelter, food, water and medicine.

Defence Ministry spokesperson General Mohammad Zahir Azimi said Army helicopters were assisting in relief efforts in the remote district, which is just 140km north of the provincial capital Puli Khumri, but is an eight to nine hour journey by land because of the rugged terrain.

Heavy rain

Rahman said local authorities had received around 100 tents, several hundred blankets and some food, but that more supplies were needed.

Afghans living in the northern mountains have largely been spared from the country's decades of war, but are no strangers to natural disasters.

Last month, a landslide triggered by heavy rain buried large sections of a remote village in the northeastern Badakhshan province bordering China, displacing some 700 families.

Authorities have yet to provide an exact figure on the number of dead from the 2 May landslide, and estimates have ranged from 250 to 2 700. Officials said it was impossible to dig up all the bodies.

A landslide in Baghlan province in 2012 killed 71 people. After days of digging unearthed only five bodies, authorities gave up on the recovery effort and turned the area into a memorial.
- AP
Read more on:    afghanistan  |  floods
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