Fifty dead in heavy rain, floods in central Afghanistan

At least 50 people have died following heavy rain and flooding in central Afghanistan, a Taliban official said Saturday as quoted by Reuters.

Abdul Hai Zaeem, Taliban’s head of the information department for central Ghor province, told Reuters that there was no information yet on the number of injured from the rain spell that began on Friday, which also cut off many key roads to the area.

Zaeem added that 2,000 houses were completely destroyed, 4,000 were partially damaged, and more than 2,000 shops were submerged in the province’s capital, Feroz Koh.

Last week, flash floods caused by heavy rains devastated villages in northern Afghanistan, killing 315 people and injuring more than 1,600, authorities said on Sunday.

On Wednesday, an Afghan air force helicopter crashed due to “technical issues” during attempts to recover bodies from a river in Ghor province, killing one person and injuring 12, according to the country’s defense ministry.

Afghanistan is prone to natural disasters and the United Nations considers it one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change. The nation has faced a shortfall in aid since the Taliban took over following the withdrawal of foreign forces in 2021, leading to a reduction in development aid that was crucial to government finances.

The shortfall has worsened in subsequent years as foreign governments grapple with competing global crises and increasing condemnation of the Taliban’s restrictions on Afghan women.