Fifty Dead in Heavy Rain, Floods in Central Afghanistan, Official Says

KABUL – At least 50 people have died following a fresh bout of heavy rain and flooding in central Afghanistan, an official reported on Saturday.

Mawlawi Abdul Hai Zaeem, head of the information department for the central Ghor province, informed Reuters that the rain spell, which began on Friday, also severed many key roads to the area. There is no current information on the number of people injured.

Zaeem added that 2,000 houses were completely destroyed, 4,000 partially damaged, and more than 2,000 shops are underwater in the province’s capital, Feroz-Koh. This disaster follows last week’s flash floods in northern Afghanistan, caused by heavy rains, which killed 315 people and injured more than 1,600, according to authorities on Sunday.

In a related incident on Wednesday, an Afghan air force helicopter crashed due to “technical issues” during an operation to recover bodies from a river in Ghor province, resulting in one fatality and 12 injuries, the country’s defense ministry stated.

Afghanistan is highly prone to natural disasters and is considered one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change by the United Nations. The country has struggled with a shortfall in aid since the Taliban took over following the withdrawal of foreign forces in 2021, leading to a significant reduction in development aid that was crucial for government finances.

The aid shortfall has been exacerbated by global crises and increasing international condemnation of the Taliban’s restrictions on Afghan women.