Severe floods swept away 16 000 homes, death toll rises to 70, Afghanistan

Heavy rainfall has been affecting central, southern and western regions of Afghanistan since the start of the month, triggering deadly floods that resulted in widespread destruction. The most affected provinces are Kandahar, Helmand, Farah, Herat and Badghis, DG ECHO reports.

Nine provinces have been affected by heavy rains and flooding since March 1, with Helmand, Zabul, Kandahar, Uruzgan, Herat and Farah, also affected by a five-year drought, particularly impacted. Another seven provinces were hit by snowfall, avalanches and mudslides.

Many areas are also exposed to conflict and drought and are host to hundreds of thousands of displaced, UN OCHA reported. Population resilience is very low, and any additional shock puts them in a dire situation.

According to ACAPS (Assessment Capacities Project), the death toll stands at 70 as of March 13. A further 111 000 people live in areas of high risk and may be affected as rains resume in the coming days. 

More than 16 000 houses were swept away and 8 670 damaged with approximately 250 000 people affected.

The storm that hit Kandahar city and the districts of Zheri, Dand, Damand, Arghandab, Spinboldak and Takhtapu at the beginning of March dropped 97 mm (3.81 inches) of rain in just 30 hours.

This region has a desert climate with about 176 mm (6.92 inches) of rain in an entire year.

January is the region’s wettest month with about 62 mm (2.44 inches) of rain, followed by February with 43 mm (1.69 inches), and March and December with 21 mm (0.82 inches). Other months receive between 0 and 4 mm (0.15 inches) of rain.

Over the next 72 hours, locally heavy rain and snowfall are forecast over Kabul area and north-eastern areas of the country while moderate rainfall and snowfall are forecast over the central areas of the country.

Featured image credit: Kabul News

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