Dozens die in flash floods in Afghanistan

Saturday 07 June 2014 19.57
Houses have been washed away and thousands forced to flee the Guzargah-e-Nur district of Baghlan
Houses have been washed away and thousands forced to flee the Guzargah-e-Nur district of Baghlan

Flash floods have killed more than 58 people in northern Afghanistan.

Hundreds of houses have been washed away and thousands of people were forced to flee the Guzargah-e-Nur district of Baghlan province.

Mahmood Haqmal, spokesman for the provincial governor, said: "We have recovered more than 58 bodies from the rubble, including the bodies of women and children, but many others are still missing."

It was an initial death toll, he said, warning it could rise.

Guzargah-e-Nur district governor Noor Mohammad Guzar told AFP the death toll was 66.

"Yesterday's floods have destroyed four villages, and washed away 2,000 residential houses, agricultural fields and also killed thousands of cattle," Mr Guzar added.

Flooding and landslides often occur during the spring rainy season in northern Afghanistan.

Flimsy mud houses offer little protection against rising water levels and torrents of mud.

Last month, a landslide triggered by heavy rains buried a village in a remote area of northeast Badakhshan province killing at least 300 people.

The disaster on 2 May left hundreds of families homeless in the Argu district of the mountainous province which borders Tajikistan, China and Pakistan.