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30 dead as deadly monsoon rains wreak havoc in Afghanistan

AT News

KABUL – Afghanistan is reeling from the devastating impact of monsoon rains that have unleashed deadly flash floods, killing at least 30 people, according to a disaster ministry official on Sunday.

The worst-hit area has been identified as Jalrez district, located approximately 46km east of Kabul, where 26 people lost their lives after torrential rain swept away hundreds of houses, many of which were constructed from earth. In addition to the fatalities in Jalrez, four people tragically died in the capital city, Kabul.

The toll is expected to rise as over 70 people have been reported injured in both districts, with an estimated 40 others still missing, believed to be trapped under the debris of collapsed homes.

Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Majid, has announced the dispatch of aid to the affected region in Maidan Wardak province, which lies west of Kabul. He conveyed his condolences to the bereaved families and called upon aid organizations and the Kabul administration to extend their assistance. Authorities have been instructed to provide all possible help to those in need.

Afghanistan’s vulnerable infrastructure has long struggled to cope with the regular occurrence of flash floods during the wet season. This recent disaster adds to the growing toll of natural disasters in the country. Just days before the flash floods, 15 people were killed in Maidan Wardak when they became trapped by floodwaters during a wedding party.

The impact of the floods has been immense, with over 600 homes being partially or completely destroyed in the district of Jalrez alone. Large swathes of farmland have also been devastated, posing a significant challenge to the already struggling agricultural sector.

Tragically, the death toll from natural disaster-related incidents in the last four months has reached 214, highlighting the urgent need for better disaster preparedness and infrastructure improvements in Afghanistan.

The severity of these floods is further compounded by the closure of the motorway between Kabul and Bamiyan province, severely disrupting transportation routes and further isolating affected communities.

Afghanistan is particularly susceptible to the effects of climate change and is ranked as one of the world’s most climate-vulnerable nations. The UN has warned that droughts and landslides during the wet season are likely to become more frequent and intense as climate change worsens, exacerbating the challenges faced by a country heavily reliant on agriculture.

While Afghanistan grapples with its monsoon-related disaster, other parts of Asia have also been grappling with severe flooding in recent weeks. Northern India experienced devastating floods that triggered landslides, claiming the lives of 22 people, and the capital city of Delhi witnessed record-breaking rainfall. Additionally, thousands of residents living along the banks of the Yamuna river were forced to evacuate as water levels reached unprecedented heights, with authorities warning of potential further flooding.

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