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At Least 35 Killed In Afghan Flash Floods as Villages Begin Cleanup

In western Afghanistan Sunday, villages began cleaning up after the worst floods in a decade forced many families from flood-damaged home as others houses were swept away completely.

Flash floods, brought by heavy rains that began Friday, have killed at least 35 people in at least five western and northern Afghanistan provinces. The flooding destroyed homes and cut off access to remote villages across parts of the country, officials say.

Heavy flooding killed at least 12 people in the northern province of Faryab and 10 people in the western province of Herat, Hashmat Bahaduri, a spokesman for Afghanistan's National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) said Saturday.

Eight people were killed in Badghis Province in the west and five in Balkh Province in the north, Bahaduri said, adding that more than 3,000 houses had been destroyed.

More than 10 people were reportedly missing.

Video taken in Herat province showed cars buried in mud, mud houses strewn with debris, and people trying to rescue whatever was left of their property.

"We have lost everything here and have nothing left to survive on," Bibi Gul, a Herat resident whose home was destroyed, told AFP.

Fazel Ahmad, another resident, told AFP, "Cows, sheep and even our pigeons are under the debris."

Floods have destroyed hundreds of homes, some historic sites, thousands of acres of farmland, bridges, and highways, Jilani Farhad, a spokesman for the western province of Herat, said.

Mir Gulabuddin Miri, director of the Afghan Red Crescent in Herat, said access to some areas had been cut off, preventing teams from reaching affected people.

"The destruction is huge. Over 12 areas in the province have been badly hit, people have lost their houses. We've only been able to provide them with some food and blankets so far," he said.

Afghanistan has seen an increased amount of snow and rain across the country in the past weeks.

Torrential rains and floods have also hit several provinces in neighboring Iran, where 44 people have reportedly been killed and dozens injured.

Source: Voice of America

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