Tens of thousands of Afghans displaced after deadly floods

Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:40pm IST

An Afghan man searches for his belongings after a flood at Jawzjan province, April 25, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

An Afghan man searches for his belongings after a flood at Jawzjan province, April 25, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

Related Topics

NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Flash floods in northern Afghanistan have killed more than 120 people and forced tens of thousands from their homes, aid agencies and the United Nations said on Monday.

Triggered by several days of heavy rainfall, the floods have washed away houses and roads and destroyed crops in parts of six provinces - Jawzjan, Faryab, Sar-e-Pul, Balkh, Samangan and Takhar.

The U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said many people were still missing and authorities and aid agencies were trying to assess the damage and provide aid to survivors.

"The foremost priority at the moment is saving lives. Whilst search and rescue operations continue ... assessments in flood-hit areas have been initiated to determine the full extent of the damage caused, as well as responding to the immediate needs of the population," said a statement from OCHA.

"With some areas still difficult to access, it may be some time yet until a clear picture of the full extent of the damage is known."

Aid workers said Afghan army helicopters had been evacuating people to safer areas on higher ground. Some of the displaced had taken refuge in madrassas (Islamic schools) while others remained living out in the open.

The charity Save the Children estimated that at least 40,000 people - 25,000 of whom were children - had been affected by the deluge which began last week.

It said there was an urgent need for clean drinking water, medicines, food rations and emergency shelter materials such as tarpaulin sheets.

"It was fortunate that our warehouses were so close to the worst-affected areas, so that we were able to respond as quickly as we have to assist the worst-affected children and their families," said Onno van Manen, Save the Children's Afghanistan director.

"But more help is needed. At least 1,000 houses have been completely destroyed, which means many children are without a roof over their heads, hot food from their homes and a blanket to make them feel safe them at night."

The northern region of Afghanistan is prone to natural disasters, where seasonal rains and spring snow melt regularly result in life-threatening flash floods.

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

HEALTHCARE

TOP SHOWCASE

Political Pulse

Political Pulse

Video: India's parliament changes guard, but can it change tack?  Video 

Indian Markets

Indian Markets

India most optimistic consumer market - Nielsen.  Full Article 

Suicide Attack

Suicide Attack

Three foreign advisers killed near Kabul airport.  Full Article 

MH17 Crash

MH17 Crash

Russia says MH17 probe should be done by "international community", not Ukraine.  Full Article 

Mideast Conflict

Mideast Conflict

Israel keeps up Gaza assaults, Kerry presses for truce  Full Article 

Larger iPhones

Larger iPhones

Apple asks suppliers to produce up to 80 mln large-screen iPhones - WSJ.  Full Article 

Historic Win

Historic Win

Ishant Sharma bowls India to victory as England crumble.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage