Afghan flood death toll rises as thousands need aid

  • 1 May 2014
  • From the section Asia
A family shelters under canvas after losing their home in the floods
Image caption A week after the floods struck, thousands still rely on food and water being trucked in

The death toll from last week's flash floods in northern Afghanistan now stands at almost 150.

Some areas are still completely cut off, with no help reaching people because roads were swept away.

The governor of Jowzjan province, Boymurod Qoyinli, told the BBC that thousands were still living in tents after their mud brick homes were destroyed.

He said the death toll in his province alone had reached 70.

Officials from two other badly hit provinces, Sar-e Pol and Faryab put the number of bodies found so far at 31 and 43 respectively.

The Jowzjan governor said his province had received 1m Afghanis ($18,000) from the central government with a further 2m promised.

There has also been a vigorous fundraising campaign with collections, appeals on local TV and donations coming from local business people as well as Afghans abroad.

Tents, food and water have reached many areas.

But Saeed Anwar Saodat, a local MP, told the BBC that two districts in Sar-e Pol province were still completely cut off and locals there had received no assistance.

The flooding last week caught many people by surprise. Hundreds were trapped on the roofs of their homes and needed to be rescued by army helicopters.

The international charity Save the Children estimates that 40,000 people have been affected in all, 25,000 of them children.

Image caption Local fundraising has boosted the government's aid effort
Image caption Dozens of villages have been destroyed by the sudden flood
Image caption Seventeen schools were destroyed in Jowzjan province alone
Image caption Local people say they lost not just their homes but also livestock and farmland
Image caption Army helicopters picked people form the roofs of their houses
Image caption Expanses of flat land and a lack of flood defences make some northern areas vulnerable

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