Dozens die as floods engulf northern Afghan villages

image captionVillagers took shelter on roofs as waters rose about them

At least 80 people have been killed and hundreds of villagers left stranded in devastating flash floods in northern Afghanistan, officials say.

The governor of Jowzjan province warned that the number of victims was likely to rise.

People have been left trapped on the roofs of their homes and rescue helicopters have been deployed.

There are reports of flooding in other provinces in the north and west.

"Thousands of homes have been destroyed and thousands are suffering", Jowzjan's governor Boymurod Qoyinli told the BBC. He said that more than 80 people are missing and that 3,000 homes have been destroyed.

BBC Uzbek's Navid Nazari, reporting from the flood-hit areas, was told by one woman that she was taken by surprise by the flash flood just after reading evening prayers. She lost two of her children.

image captionMany homes in the remote northern province have been submerged by the floods

Heavy rain and storms on Thursday night created a perilous situation for villagers whose homes are largely built out of mud.

Three remote districts in the province were particularly badly affected, the governor told the BBC.

image captionHundreds were trapped on roofs and needed to be rescued by air

Our correspondent travelled on board one of the rescue helicopters deployed by the security forces.

He described a landscape where dozens of homes had been destroyed, many more submerged and villagers crouched on the roofs of their homes.

image captionThe regional economy is heavily dependent on agricultural land
image captionEntire families had little idea of when they might be able to return home
image captionMany homes, built out of mud, were easily destroyed by the rain and the wind

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