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May 19, 2024

Heavy Rains and Flash Floods Devastate Ghor Province in Afghanistan, Claiming 50 Lives

Heavy Rains and Flash Floods Devastate Ghor Province in Afghanistan, Claiming 50 Lives

At least 50 people, including women and children, have tragically lost their lives due to devastating floods in Afghanistan’s Ghor province. The heavy rains that triggered flash floods on Friday have led to widespread destruction, impacting thousands of families and causing significant loss of life and property.

Local authorities in Ghor report that approximately 2,500 families have been affected, with residential homes, hundreds of hectares of agricultural land, and orchards being inundated. Additionally, the floods have destroyed hundreds of bridges, culverts, and retaining walls across various areas of the province. Thousands of livestock have perished, and tens of vehicles have been swept away by the torrents.

The Ghor-Herat highway, a crucial transportation route, along with many other roads leading to districts in the province, has been blocked, complicating relief efforts. The flash floods have also wreaked havoc in Baghlan province and several other regions across Afghanistan. The sudden onset of these floods, spurred by relentless heavy rainfall, has resulted in a severe toll on life and infrastructure, leaving many communities isolated and in dire need of assistance.

Reports from affected areas indicate that homes and infrastructure have been obliterated, and transport routes remain blocked, exacerbating the isolation of impacted communities. National and local authorities are working tirelessly to mobilize resources and provide aid to these regions. However, the scale and intensity of the flooding present significant challenges to these relief efforts.

Pope Francis has called on the international community to assist the flood victims in Afghanistan. During a general audience on May 16, he expressed his condolences and prayers for the victims, particularly focusing on the children and their families who have been affected by this disaster.

The situation in northern Afghanistan is dire, with at least 300 people reported dead due to flooding in 18 districts across three provinces in recent days. The United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP) has stated that hundreds more have been injured, and many people are believed to be buried under the mud.

The urgency of the situation demands immediate and robust international support to aid the affected populations. The ongoing relief efforts are critical to addressing the extensive damage and ensuring that the needs of the victims are met. The resilience of the Afghan people, coupled with the global community’s assistance, will be vital in navigating through this natural disaster’s aftermath.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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