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Flash floods kill dozens in Afghanistan: Govt

world Updated: May 05, 2010 19:16 IST

AFP
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At least 31 people have been killed in a series of flash floods in Afghanistan, the government said on Wednesday, warning the death toll may rise.

Torrential rain has triggered heavy flooding in northern and western Afghanistan over the past three days, Abdul Mateen Idrak, the head of the National Disaster Management Authority, said.

"So far we know that up to 12 people have died in Herat and at least 19 in Ghor," he said, referring to provinces in western Afghanistan. The death toll may rise as we are still investigating."

The floods destroyed hundreds of houses as well as crops and irrigation systems, Idrak said.

President Hamid Karzai has sent relief teams to the affected areas to help the victims, his office said.

Natural disasters are common in mountainous Afghanistan, where more than 200 people lost their lives in heavy avalanches earlier this year.