Flash Flooding in Afghanistan Kills at Least 50, With More Missing

Heavy seasonal rains have set off flash floods in a northern province of Afghanistan, killing at least 50 people and leaving many others missing on Friday, The Associated Press reported, citing Taliban officials.

The flood’s toll in the province of Baghlan is likely to rise, officials said, according to The A.P., and the flooding also struck Kabul, the capital, which is south of the province. Many homes were destroyed, and rescue teams were taking food and aid to the affected areas, the A.P. reported.

In recent years, Afghanistan has been experiencing a dire economic crisis, faced a spate of natural disasters, and dealt with the turmoil of war and clashes with its neighbor, Pakistan.

The wet conditions this year have been brought in part by the El Niño phenomenon, raising the risk of floods, which hinder crop production and the flow of food supplies, particularly in the country’s north and northeast, the International Rescue Committee said in a statement last week.

Flash floods from heavy rains inundated much of Afghanistan last month, killing more than 100 people, destroying more than 1,000 homes and ruining more than 60,000 acres of farmland, the group said.

The damage to roads, bridges and the power infrastructure could hinder the delivery of humanitarian aid there, it said.

“Any additional flooding will have a detrimental impact on large swaths of the population,” it added, “which are already reeling from an economic collapse, high levels of malnutrition and conflict.”

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