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  • A boy stands next to a home that was damaged in heavy rains in Kandahar, Afghanistan, 02 March 2019.

    A boy stands next to a home that was damaged in heavy rains in Kandahar, Afghanistan, 02 March 2019. | Photo: EFE

Published 2 March 2019

Six southern districts and the city of Kandahar were struck by heavy rain on Friday, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement.

At least 20 people have been killed in the southern regions of Afghanistan by floods that engulfed over two thousand households and swept away cars, the United Nations agency coordinating relief efforts said Saturday.

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Six southern districts and the city of Kandahar were struck by heavy rain Friday, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement. The heavy rains that began Friday caused, according to reports, serious damage to infrastructure and homes.

"Floods caused by the heavy rains killed 20 people, including several children, when their homes collapsed or the vehicles in which they were traveling were washed away by the water," the agency's Afghan headquarters said in a statement.

Afghan government officials said hundreds of houses in Herat province were destroyed in flash floods. Flood-affected families have been evacuated to secure areas in the districts in Kandahar city, including schools, mosques and government buildings.

At least 10 people, including children, were missing in Arghandab, Daman, Spin Boldak and Dand districts. The OCHA statement said that about 500 Kochi (nomadic) families were left stranded on the river bank, and that there is an urgent need for air support to rescue them.

"Only in the city of Kandahar, approximately 600 houses have been damaged or destroyed," the report says.

The rugged mountainous terrain, heavy snowfall and lack of roads were delaying the pace of immediate relief and rescue operations, said a senior official working for the Afghanistan Natural Disaster Management Authority in Kabul.

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