Heavy flooding from seasonal rains in Afghanistan has killed at least 31 people and left dozens missing over the past three days.
Shafiullah Rahimi, the Taliban spokesman for the natural disaster management ministry, said on Sunday at least 74 others were injured and 41 people missing after flash floods hit capital Kabul as well as Maidan Wardak and Ghazni provinces.
He said a majority of casualties were in western Kabul and Maidan Wardak’s Jalrez district. Government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said urgent aid was being rushed to the two main disaster zones.
The provincial governor’s office said in a statement hundreds of homes were either damaged or destroyed, and the missing are believed to be under the rubble of collapsed homes.
The statement also said crops in hundreds of square kilometres of agricultural land were destroyed and the highway between Kabul and the central Bamiyan province was closed due to the floods.
Although Afghanistan lies on the western edge of the Asian monsoon footprint, flash floods happen regularly during the summers as heavy rain courses down dry riverbeds.
The floods add to the misery of people in Afghanistan. In April, the United Nations’ humanitarian affairs agency said the South Asian country is facing its third consecutive year of drought, its second year of severe economic hardship, and the consequences of decades of war and natural disasters.