Flash flooding in the province of Parwan, Afghanistan, has killed at least 86 people and injured more than 100, according to deputy spokesman for the governor of the province, Rahmatullah Haidari. Dozens of houses and vehicles were also destroyed during the floods and the number of casualties is expected to rise. Police and rescue teams are already in the area helping residents, Parwan provincial spokeswoman Wahida Shahkar said Wednesday.
A ministry of disaster management spokesman said floods had also affected eight other provinces in the country. The highways to eastern and northern provinces were also blocked. ‘Along with rescuing people, we are working to open highways back to the traffic,’ he said. Azimi said ground and air support sent to help those trapped by the flooding had reached the provinces.
The flash flooding was triggered by the torrential rain earlier in the week with Parwan province, which borders Kabul being the most affected. Officials said more than 1,500 houses north of the capital; Kabul had been destroyed leaving hundreds homeless. The spokesman added climate change was making the flooding situation even worse.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani ordered delivery of aid to Parwan and other provinces while expressing his condolences to the victims’ families. In eastern Maidan Wardak province, two people lost their lives and five others were injured when flooding destroyed several houses, Azimi said. Earlier this month, 16 people were killed and dozens of houses destroyed after flash floods hit a village Nangarhar province.
For centuries, farmers in South Asia have relied on the annual monsoon rain, which stretches from about June until September. But intense rains and floods in the region has caused devastation and billions in damage every year. Other countries in the region also facing heavy rain include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.