By RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan
April 16, 2019
KABUL — Torrential rains and flooding have swept across much of Afghanistan, killing at least five people, destroying and damaging hundreds of houses, and sweeping away livestock, officials say.
Hashmat Bahaduri, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA), said that heavy rains and flooding have hit 16 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces in the past 24 hours.
In the western province of Herat, five people were killed when their houses collapsed, according to Jilani Farhad, a spokesman for the provincial governor.
Hamid Mubarez, the disaster and humanitarian affairs director in Herat, said that 17 other people are missing.
They were last heard from while traveling in a van in the Obey district on April 15, Mubarez said.
The floods affected other areas in the province, including the districts of Kohsan, Karrokh, Shindand, and Guzara.
In the capital, the Kabul River burst its banks in places and swamped surrounding neighborhoods.
Bahaduri said that more than 110 houses have already been partially or completely destroyed in the city.
Authorities have warned residents living along the river to be prepared to evacuate their homes as water levels surged.
The highway between the cities of Herat and Kandahar has been closed to traffic due to damage caused by flash floods.
More than 110 people have been killed due to flooding in Afghanistan so far this year, according to the ANDMA.
This winter saw heavy snowfall across parts of Afghanistan, cutting off many areas and leading to flash floods in the spring melt.
With reporting by AP, AFP, and TOLOnews