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Over 200 killed as heavy rains set off flash floods in Afghanistan

Flash flooding has struck northern Afghanistan, resulting in a significant loss of life and widespread destruction. The heavy rainfall, which occurred on Friday night, affected five districts in Baghlan province. The exact death toll is still uncertain, but Taliban officials have reported at least 200 deaths, while the World Food Programme estimates that more than 300 people have died. The toll is expected to rise as further storms are predicted in the region.

Pictures shared on social media show the devastating impact of the flash floods, with torrents of water sweeping through houses in several villages. In Baghlan province alone, 131 people have been reported dead, and 20 deaths have been confirmed in Takhar province. The floods have caused extensive damage, with 2,011 houses destroyed and an additional 2,800 damaged. Three mosques and four schools have also been affected.

Emergency personnel, including the army, are actively involved in search and rescue operations, searching for possible victims under the mud and rubble. The UN’s World Food Programme has provided aid to affected families, distributing tents, blankets, and food to those who have lost their homes. However, the scale of the disaster and the number of affected people pose significant challenges for relief efforts.

Afghanistan is among the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The nation has experienced a series of natural disasters this year, including droughts, earthquakes, and now flash floods. Climate change, characterized by a warming atmosphere, increases the likelihood of extreme rainfall events like flash floods. Poorly constructed houses in isolated rural areas are particularly vulnerable to such disasters.

Flash flooding in northern Afghanistan has resulted in a significant loss of life and widespread destruction. The death toll is still uncertain, but estimates suggest that at least 200 people have died, with the number expected to rise. Emergency personnel and relief organizations are working to provide aid and support to affected communities. Afghanistan’s vulnerability to climate change and the impact of extreme weather events highlight the urgent need for global action to mitigate and adapt to the changing climate.

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