Heavy rains set off flash floods in northern Afghanistan, killing at least 47 people – The Hindu

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More heavy rains in Afghanistan have triggered flash floods, raising the death toll to 47 in the country’s north following weeks of devastating torrents that had already left hundreds dead and missing, a Taliban spokesman said May 19.

The new round of heavy rains and floods hit three districts in Faryab province May 18 night, destroying houses and farmlands, said Shamsuddin Mohammadi, the provincial director of information. Earlier reports from Faryab put the death toll at 18 but officials said they were still preliminary figures.

Afghanistan has been witnessing unusually heavy seasonal rains.

In the hard-hit western province of Ghor, 50 people were reported dead from May 17’s floods, according to Abdul Wahid Hamas, spokesman for the provincial governor.

The U.N. 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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