Heavy rains caused flash floods in western Afghanistan that killed at least 17 people, destroying homes and sweeping through makeshift shelters that housed displaced families, a government official said on Saturday.
Two days of flooding that started on Thursday killed 12 people in Jawzjan and two in Badghis, provinces that border Turkmenistan, said Hasibullah Shir Khani, a spokesman for Afghanistan's National Disaster Management Authority.
Two others were killed in Herat and another in Sar-e Pul province, he said.
More than 500 houses were destroyed.
The floods worsen an already desperate situation. Hundreds of thousands of people are displaced in western Afghanistan from last year's severe drought. Floods in early March caused further destruction and put this year's wheat harvest at risk.
Children waded through muddy, knee-deep floodwaters that flowed through tent camps for displaced people after the rain stopped.
Officials in Herat, which borders Iran, put the death toll higher than the national government. Dr. Abdul Hakim Tamana, head of public health for the province, said eight people were killed and nine injured.
Floods have destroyed hundreds of homes, some historic sites, thousands of acres of farmland, bridges and highways, said Jilani Farhad, a spokesman for Herat province.
Aid organization World Vision said in a statement it appeared tens of thousands of Afghans were affected. Some Badghis residents were calling it the worst storm in 20 years, it said.
Iran has also been flooded by torrential rains, overwhelming emergency services in some areas.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Two US service members killed in Afghanistan helicopter crash
Afghanistan's president claims victory over Islamic State
At least seven killed in Kabul car bomb blast
Afghanistan to swap Taliban militants for American, Australian captives
Afghan poll results may be delayed again as candidates spar over recount
Roadside bomb kills five schoolchildren in Afghanistan
No Syria-type pullout planned for Afghanistan: Pentagon chief
At least 62 killed in Afghan mosque blast
Three killed, dozens children wounded in Taliban truck blast