Home Environment Devastating Floods Ravage Northern Afghanistan, Leaving Hundreds Dead – UN

Devastating Floods Ravage Northern Afghanistan, Leaving Hundreds Dead – UN

Devastating Floods Ravage Northern Afghanistan_upscayl

KABUL, Afghanistan — Flash floods have ripped through northern Afghanistan, leaving more than 200 people dead in a single province, the United Nations said on Saturday.

The deluge has brought widespread devastation to the region, with thousands of homes destroyed or damaged and emergency crews rushing to rescue stranded residents.

Authorities have reported at least 200 fatalities in Baghlan province alone, where the flooding was particularly severe. In the district of Baghlani Jadid, up to 1,500 homes were damaged or destroyed and more than 100 people were killed, according to an emergency response official with the International Organization for Migration.

“More than 200 people were killed and thousands of houses were destroyed or damaged in Baghlan province when heavy rains on Friday sparked massive flooding,” the IOM told the AFP news agency.

The Taliban government’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said “hundreds of our fellow citizens have succumbed to these calamitous floods” in a statement posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. Though he did not provide a precise death toll, Mujahid told AFP that dozens had been killed.

Multiple other provinces across the war-ravaged country have also been hit by flash flooding, with officials in northern Takhar province reporting 20 fatalities on Saturday. Heavy rains on Friday also caused significant damage in the northeastern Badakhshan province, the central Ghor province, and the western Herat region, according to local authorities.

Emergency personnel have been deployed to the affected areas, the defense ministry said, as they work to rescue the injured and stranded.

The devastating floods come as Afghanistan grapples with the impacts of climate change, which scientists say the country is one of the worst prepared to face. After a relatively dry winter, the soil was less able to absorb the heavy rainfall that triggered the flash flooding.

“Afghanistan — which had a relatively dry winter, making it more difficult for the soil to absorb rainfall — is highly vulnerable to climate change,” the report noted.

The impoverished nation, ravaged by four decades of war, is one of the poorest in the world and faces immense challenges in responding to natural disasters of this scale.

As rescue and recovery efforts continue, the staggering human toll of these floods serves as a sobering reminder of the dire climate threats facing Afghanistan and the immense suffering borne by its people. With hundreds dead and thousands displaced, this tragedy underscores the urgent need for the international community to step up support and assistance to this vulnerable nation.