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Afghanistan: Deadly flash floods kill dozens, damage homes

People carry out an injured person from the rubble

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At least 100 people have died in flash flooding in northern Afghanistan’s Parwan province, officials say.

The flooding, caused by torrential rains, struck the city of Charikar early on Wednesday morning while people were asleep.

In addition to the fatalities, Afghanistan’s disaster management ministry said dozens were injured and nearly 500 houses destroyed.

The updated toll was given as rescue workers continued to search through the rubble of destroyed buildings for any survivors.

Officials say the death toll may continue to rise.

A view of the aftermath of the flooding

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Obaidullah Azadmansh/REUTERS

Parawan Governor Fazludin Ayar told local reporters “we could have hundreds of people killed”.

Provincial spokeswoman Waheeda Shakar said children are among the victims. Reporters in the area say many families have told them that their relatives are missing and in many places, people are busy pulling out bodies from the ruins.

Farmer Mohamed Qasim told AFP news agency that 11 members of his family were killed in the floods.

Another resident described the moment the flood hit.

“I grabbed the window and was holding it for two hours until the neighbours came to rescue me,” 70-year-old Hamida told AFP, adding that she had “lost everything” she owned.

Images from Charikar on Wednesday show rescue workers at the scene, digging through rubble and streets engulfed by thick mud.

Others show people searching through rubble for their belongings.

An Afghan man looks for his belongings following the floods

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“There are two families in our neighbourhood who are still under the debris,” Abdul Majid, a resident of Charikar, told television network Tolo News.

“We need more rescue workers to help us,” he said.

An Afghan man joins a group of people searching for their belongings

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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani ordered emergency assistance to be provided to the victims, the presidential palace said in a statement.

Many survivors are in need of food and shelter.

A car is left standing in mud following the flash floods

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Obaidullah Azadmansh/REUTERS

The ministry of disaster management said flash floods were also reported in several other provinces.

Northern and eastern parts of Afghanistan often see heavy rainfall during the summer months, leading to floods.

Earlier this month, 16 people, mostly children, died when flash floods tore through a village in the eastern province of Nangarhar.

Map showing Charikar

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