Flash flooding caused by heavy rain has killed over 20 people and destroyed more than 1,500 homes in Afghanistan, officials said on Monday.
Kandahar, Zabul, Farah and Herat were the worst affected areas, with more floods expected in the coming days, said Ahmad Tamim Azimi, a spokesperson for the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA).
Around 10 people are reported missing in southern Kandahar, which has borne the brunt of the bad weather. In total, 95 people have now lost their lives across the country due to heavy rain and avalanches in the space of a month.
Kabul has dispatched 40,000 blankets, 5,430 tents and over 3,000 kilograms of rice to affected areas, as well as reserving $700,000 to compensate victims, according to Najibullah Shaikhani, a senior official at ANDMA.
“We have rescued some 1,900 families from Herat, Farah and Kandahar alone, and another 100 people trapped in their vehicles by avalanches at the Shibar Pass,” he said, adding that military helicopters were playing a crucial role in flood-hit areas, as access by land had become difficult.
The Taliban also ordered its fighters to help affected families, and asked for aid to be dispatched to areas under its direct control.
The country’s meteorological department has warned more flooding in other parts of the country could be on the way, but despite the damage, not everyone is looking at the weather as a negative.
Afghanistan had previously been undergoing its worst drought in decades, displacing thousands of families dependent on agriculture to make a living.
“The snow and rain is a big relief. The level of water will go up, and that is essential for farming, animal husbandry and for the people in general,” Shamsuddin, a local farmer in Kabul, told Arab News.