Rescue operation underway in Afghanistan as flood death toll rises | News | DW | 08.06.2014
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Rescue operation underway in Afghanistan as flood death toll rises

Rescuers are struggling to bring food and aid to Afghans hit by devastating floods in the remote north as the death toll climbs. Thousands of people have been made homeless by the deluge.

Rescue teams in the north of Afghanistan were working on Sunday to deliver food and medical supplies to families stranded on mountain tops after flash flooding that has killed more than 80 people and left many others missing.

Officials said army helicopters were helping in relief efforts in the remote Guzirga i-Nur district of Baghlan province.

The district police chief, Lieutenant Fazel Rahman, said that the death toll from Friday's flooding had climbed to 81 from 54, adding that some 850 homes across several villages had been completely destroyed.

Another police spokesman, Jawed Basharat, said the floods had left many people without any means to exist.

"There's nothing left for them to survive. People don't even have drinking water," Basharat said.

Government commission

The affected area is just 140 km (85 miles) from the provincial capital, Puli Khumri, but the journey by land takes eight to nine hours because of the rugged terrain.

Outgoing President Hamid Karzai has expressed "deep condolences" to those who have lost loved ones, and has appointed a government commission to speed up emergency aid to the areas hit by the floods.

Last month, a landslide triggered by heavy rains in a nearby region buried a village, killing hundreds of people.

The current disaster comes as Afghanistan heads into the second round of its presidential election on June 14.

tj/pfd (AFP, AP)

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