Afghan villagers search for survivors as flash flood kills at least 40 people.
Afghan villagers searched desperately for survivors after flash flood swept down a narrow valley in a Taliban-controlled area, killing at least 40 people and destroying dozens of houses in the early hours of Thursday morning, officials said.
Getting reliable information was difficult,
according to Afghan officials, as Kamdesh
district in the mountainous eastern province of
Nuristan had fallen under the control of Taliban
and had poor telecommunications.
“According to the initial information 60 houses
are destroyed and around 100 people are
missing,” said Samiullah Zarbi, spokesman for
the State Ministry of Disaster Management.
Villagers had recovered some forty bodies, either from the water or buried beneath the rubble of their homes, Saadullah Payenda Zoy, head of the provincial council said.
The Taliban said they would allow humanitarian
agencies safe access to the area.
“Unfortunately half of a village, which had more
than 100 houses, was washed away by a violent
flood last night and sadly more than 100 people
are dead or missing, Taliban spokesperson
Zaibullah Mujahid told reporters.
He said Taliban fighters were helping villagers
look for missing people. Afghanistan has always struggled to provide emergency services in distant, isolated regions like Nuristan.
But, the challenges have become even more
acute due to the coronavirus pandemic and
mounting violence as Taliban insurgents attack
government troops left fighting alone, with the
last U.S.-led foreign forces preparing to leave