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Death toll from flash floods in northern Afghanistan rises above 70

The floods and landslides follow recent severe flooding in other parts of northern Afghanistan.

Afghan floods aprilEnlarge
Flash floods in northern Afghanistan caused by torrential rain in April killed more than 180 people. (SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)

Flash floods have killed more than 70 people in northern Afghanistan, washing away hundreds of homes and forcing thousands to flee, officials said Saturday warning that the death toll was expected to rise.

The governor of the province, Sultan Mohammad Ebadi, said the death toll stood at 74, warning that the extent of the disaster was "massive" and that the toll was expected to rise further.

"People have lost everything they had — houses, property, villages, agricultural fields, cattle," Baghlan police spokesman Jawed Basharat said about the floods.

"There's nothing left for them to survive. People don't even having drinking water," he added. "They urgently need water, food items, blankets and tents."

"Heavy torrential rains followed by flash floods have killed more than 50 people in Guzargah-e-Nur district of Baghlan province," Mahmood Haqmal, spokesman for the provincial governor, told AFP earlier.

Afghan villagers transport the body of a victim after a flash flood landslide in the Guzargah-e-Nur district of Baghlan province on June 7, 2014.

"We have recovered more than 50 bodies from the rubble, including the bodies of women and children, but many others are still missing," Haqmal said.

Guzargah-e-Nur district governor Noor Mohammad Guzar told AFP the death toll was 66.

"Yesterday's floods have destroyed four villages, and washed away 2,000 residential houses, agricultural fields and also killed thousands of cattle," Guzar added.

Last month a landslide triggered by heavy rains buried a village in a remote area of northeast Badakhshan province killing at least 300 people.

The May 2 disaster in left hundreds of families homeless in Argu district of the mountainous province which borders Tajikistan, China and Pakistan.

The floods and landslides follow recent severe flooding in other parts of northern Afghanistan, with 159 people dead and 71,000 people affected by floods in Jowzjan, Faryab and Sar-e-Pul provinces.

Flooding and landslides often occur during the spring rainy season in northern Afghanistan, with flimsy mud houses offering little protection against rising water levels and torrents of mud.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/afghanistan/140607/flash-floods-kill-over-50-north-afghanistan