Heavy rains set off flash floods in northern Afghanistan; 84 killed

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An Afghan couple sit near their damaged home after heavy flooding in Ghor province in western Afghanistan on May 18. (AP)

ISLAMABAD, May 19, (AP): More heavy rains in Afghanistan have triggered flash floods, raising the death toll to 84 in the country’s north following weeks of devastating torrents that had already left hundreds dead and missing, a Taliban spokesman said Sunday.
The new round of heavy rains and floods hit four districts in Faryab province Saturday night, leaving 66 dead, five injured and eight missing. Another 18 people had died in floods on Friday, said Esmatullah Moradi, spokesman for the provincial governor in Faryab.
Moradi said that around 1,500 houses were either completely or partially destroyed while hundreds of hectares (acres) of farmlands were washed away and more than 300 animals killed.
Afghanistan has been witnessing unusually heavy seasonal rains.
In the hard-hit western province of Ghor, 50 people were reported dead from Friday’s floods, according to Abdul Wahid Hamas, spokesman for the provincial governor.
The UN food agency said Ghor was the most affected by the floods. Last week, the World Food Program said the exceptionally heavy rains in Afghanistan had killed more than 300 people and destroyed thousands of houses, mostly in the northern province of Baghlan.
Survivors have been left with no home, no land, and no source of livelihood, WFP said, adding that most of Baghlan was inaccessible by trucks.
The latest disaster came on the heels of devastating floods that killed at least 70 people in April. The waters also destroyed about 2,000 homes, three mosques and four schools in western Farah and Herat, and southern Zabul and Kandahar provinces.

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