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Afghanistan floods

Afghanistan floods kill dozens, with many still missing – CNN

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN)Flash flooding in Afghanistan’s Parwan province has killed at least 86 people and injured at least 106, according to Rahmatullah Haidari, deputy spokesman for the governor of the province.

Officials in in the disaster management ministry said that torrential rain earlier this week triggered flash flooding in the country’s Parwan province — which borders Kabul — Reuters news agency reported.
Dozens of houses and vehicles have been destroyed and the number of casualties could be much higher, Parwan provincial spokeswoman Waheeda Shakar said Wednesday.
Police and rescue teams have arrived in the area and are helping residents, she said.
Officials said more than 1,500 houses north of the capital Kabul had been destroyed, while many people remain missing.
A ministry of disaster management spokesman said floods had also affected eight of the country’s northern provinces. The spokesman said climate change was worsening the flooding hitting the country.
For centuries, agriculture in South Asia has depended on the annual monsoon, which stretches from about June until September. But intense rains and floods in the region — including in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Afghanistan — also cause devastation and billions of dollars in damage every year.

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Afghanistan Flooding

Afghanistan flooding: Dozens dead, hundreds of homes destroyed – Al Jazeera English

Heavy flooding in northern and eastern Afghanistan has killed at least 100 people, as the deluge ravaged large parts of Charikar city, the capital of Parwan province, officials have said.

Wahida Shahkar, spokeswoman for Parwan province, said on Wednesday the number of casualties may rise as rescue teams work to locate people buried under destroyed houses.

Containing the incident and helping the affected families was beyond the capacity of the local government, and the central government should step in quickly, Shahkar said.

Many children were among the dead in Charikar, which was hit by heavy rains overnight, the Ministry of Disaster Management said in a statement.

Ahmad Jan, a resident of Shahrak-Malimin village in Parwan province, said most people are still stuck under the rubble of their houses.

“More than 50 houses in his area are completely damaged. Don’t know how many have died but most people are under their roofs. It was early morning, so most people were sleeping. Rescue team is helping take out dead bodies and injured,” Jan told Al Jazeera.

Afghans rescue people after heavy flooding in Parwan province of kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2src2src.Heavy flooding in northern Afghanistan has killed more than two dozen people and injured s

Afghans rescue people after heavy flooding in Parwan province [Rahmat Gul/AP]

Police and rescue teams have been deployed amid the worst disaster to have hit Parwan.

“It was early morning when the flood hit our area. Most people were asleep. A lot of people are dead including women and children. Officials say 50-60 people are dead but its a lot more than that,” Ismatullah, a resident Dasht-e-Opyan district of Parwan, told Al Jazeera.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani ordered delivery of aid to Parwan and other provinces while expressing his condolences to the victims’ families.

Ahmad Tameem Azimi, spokesman for the disaster management ministry, said flooding blocked the highways to eastern and northern provinces.

“Along with rescuing people, we are working to open the highways back to the traffic,” he said.

Azimi said at least 300 houses were destroyed in Parwan and more than a thousand people displaced. He said ground and air support sent to help those trapped by the flooding had reached the provinces.

People go around a market area after a flash-flood in Charikar, Parwan province, on August 26, 2src2src. - At least 46 people have been killed and hundreds of houses destroyed by flash floods as torrentia

Dozens dead and hundreds of houses destroyed by flash floods as torrential rains lashed in Parwan [AFP]

Azimi said the ministry had warned residents of possible flooding in the region with a social media alert late on Tuesday.

He said hundreds of acres of agricultural land had been destroyed, with the heavy rain wiping out all the crops in the eastern province of Nuristan. Houses and roads were destroyed in Kapisa, Panjshir and Paktia provinces, Azimi said.

A flash flood affected villager pushes a bicycle along a road in Charikar, Parwan province, on August 26, 2src2src. - At least 46 people have been killed and hundreds of houses destroyed by flash floods a

A flash flood affected villager pushes a bicycle along a road in Charikar, Parwan [AFP]

In eastern Maidan Wardak province, two people died and five were injured when flooding destroyed several houses, Azimi said.

The office of the Nangarhar governor said in a statement two members of a family died and four others were injured on Wednesday morning when the wall of their house collapsed due to flooding.

Summer often brings heavy rainfall in northern and eastern Afghanistan, leading to floods that leave hundreds dead every year.

Earlier this month, 16 people, including 15 children, were killed and dozens of houses destroyed when flash floods hit a village in the eastern province of Nangarhar.

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Afghanistan facing

Afghanistan likely facing coronavirus ‘health disaster’: U.S. watchdog – Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Afghanistan, beset by a poor healthcare system, malnutrition, war and other vulnerabilities, likely is facing a “health disaster” from the coronavirus, a watchdog report to the U.S. Congress warns.

FILE PHOTO: Men wait to receive free food donated by the Afghan government, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Jalalabad, Afghanistan April 28, 2020. REUTERS/Parwiz/File Photo

The report released late on Thursday by Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko could heighten concerns among U.S. officials and lawmakers that the pandemic threatens to derail stalled U.S.-led peace efforts.

The spread of COVID-19 – the illness caused by the novel coronavirus – already has significantly impacted Afghanistan, the report said, from complicating the peace initiative to forcing border crossing closures that have disrupted commercial and humanitarian deliveries.

“Afghanistan’s numerous and, in some cases, unique vulnerabilities – a weak healthcare system, widespread malnutrition, porous borders, massive internal displacement, contiguity with Iran, and ongoing conflict – make it likely the country will confront a health disaster in the coming months,” the report said.

Rising food prices in the impoverished country is likely to worsen the crisis, Sopko said in a letter accompanying the report.

As the pandemic has spread, Washington has pressed the Taliban and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to free thousands of at-risk militant and government prisoners as a precursor to peace talks originally set to begin on March 10.

Kabul, however, was not a party to a Feb. 29 U.S. troop withdrawal deal between the Taliban and Washington that called for the releases. Differences over the pace and numbers of prisoners to be freed have helped stall the peace effort, which could suffer a major blow if many prisoners were to die.

Afghanistan has confirmed nearly 2,200 coronavirus cases and 64 deaths, according to local news reports quoting the Health Ministry.

The report said the NATO-led international coalition declined to make available for public release data on the number of attacks launched by the Taliban in the first three months of 2020.

It was the first time that publication of the data has been denied since SIGAR began using them to track levels and locations of violence in 2018, the report said.

The coalition, it said, explained that the data are “now a critical part” of internal U.S. government deliberations on negotiations with the Taliban, who have escalated attacks on Afghan security forces since the Feb. 29 deal.

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman on Friday said the data was withheld because they are “part of diplomatic discussions with the Taliban and with State Department and other parties in an effort to bring a diplomatic solution” and releasing them “would not move that ball forward.”

“It will be released in the future,” he added.

Reporting by Jonathan Landay; Additiona reporting by Idrees Ali, Editing by Mary Milliken, Dan Grebler and Bill Berkrot

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