KABUL, Afghanistan – Flash floods after heavy rains in northern Afghanistan killed at least 75 people and damaged thousands of homes, leaving authorities scrambling to help survivors in the remote region, officials said.
The rains began late Thursday and continued into Friday in four provinces. The worst affected appeared to be Jawzjan, where at least 36 people were killed, according to police spokesman Abdul Manan Raoufi. Other officials put the death toll there at 43.
Azizul Rahman Aymaq, who heads the disaster relief committee in Jawzjan, said more than 5,000 people have been displaced, and medicine and drinking water are running short. Afghan army helicopters are helping rescuers reach the affected areas, he said.
"The flooding started from early morning and still it is going on. Around seven villages in our area were destroyed by flooding, all the people were standing on the roof top of the houses and they were evacuated by Afghan army helicopters to safety," said one flood survivor, Shah Mahmood.
In Faryam province west of Jawzjan, the floods killed 33 people, damaged more than 2,150 homes and caused widespread damage to farmland, said provincial governor Mohammadullah Patash.
Another six people were killed in Badghis province, said the provincial governor, Moammadullah Alizai. Suri Pul province was also affected by the flooding.