Heavy rains lash Afghanistan

20 people are known to have died after floodwaters rage.

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    The flood water has damaged nearly 2,000 houses in the province of Balkh, in northern Afghanistan [EPA]
    The flood water has damaged nearly 2,000 houses in the province of Balkh, in northern Afghanistan [EPA]

    In the same week that an earthquake struck Afghanistan, torrential rain also poured across the country.

    The rain was widespread across much of the country, but the northern parts were the worst hit. In the province of Balkh, 20 people were killed in the resulting floods and nearly 2,000 houses damaged.

    President Hamid Karzai has ordered emergency help for victims of both natural disasters.

    Flooding is not uncommon in Afghanistan, particularly in winter and spring when the majority of the rain falls. The summer months are drier, as the country is shielded from India’s summer monsoon by the high mountains to the south.

    When heavy rain falls the result often is severe. Part of the reason for this is that the terrain is mountainous, so the water forms raging torrents that sweep down the mountain side.

    However, a large part of the problem is the standard of the housing. Homes are often made of mud, which are no match for fast-running floodwaters.

    April is the wettest month of the year, but the amount of rain should drop off dramatically in May.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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