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UN says heavy rains, floods kill 20 in southern Afghanistan

A U.N. humanitarian agency says at least 20 people died as heavy rains and flooding over the past few days swept away their homes and cars in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province.
UN says heavy rains, floods kill 20 in southern Afghanistan
AVA- The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said on Saturday night that at least 10 people, including children, remain missing. OCHA's statement says up to 2,000 homes are believed to have been damaged.
The local governor's office says the flooding was the worst in Kandahar in at least seven years and that heavy snowfall continues, hampering rescue efforts.
Heavy snowfall across Afghanistan this winter has cut off many areas and raised fears of severe flood in the spring. So far this year, nearly 50 people died in floods.
Kandahar's Deputy Governor Abdul Hanan Moneeb said the flooding was the worst in seven years, with many nomadic herders camped in the area swept away by the floodwaters along with their livestock.
The official added that 400 families have been rescued by the Afghan army since the flooding began late on Friday night.
Rescue operations, however, were largely delayed due to heavy rainfall, Raziq Shirzai, the provincial commander of the Afghan air force, told the AFP news agency.
Disasters such as avalanches and flash floods often hit mountainous areas and river valleys of Afghanistan as the snow melts in the spring and summer. It is made worse by deforestation.
Heavy snowfall across large swaths of Afghanistan this winter has raised fears of severe flooding as spring approaches, following years of devastating drought in the country.
Nearly 50 people have been killed as of February 12 due to flooding in Afghanistan so far this year, according to the UN.
Sunday 3 March 2019 13:30
Story Code: 180664 Copy text available
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