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  • People wading through flood waters in Herat province, Afghanistan March 29, 2019.

    People wading through flood waters in Herat province, Afghanistan March 29, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 31 March 2019

Heavy rains and weak infrastructure have left dozens dead and thousands of houses destroyed in western Afghanistan. 

The death toll from this weekend’s Afghani flash floods reached 35 as of Sunday as the western part of the nation was hit with heavy rains. The downpours have destroyed homes and temporary shelters that house displaced families fleeing the Taliban and droughts, according to the BBC.

The country’s weak infrastructural system and hardened grounds due to drought forced the heavy rains into homes, ruining residencies in seven provinces said Hasibullah Shir Khani, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Authority of Afghanistan.

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At least 12 people have disappeared and over 700 houses were destroyed or severely damaged from the rains that began last Thursday, added Khani.

Hardest hit by the floods are Faryab, Badghis and Herat provinces. This area already contains weak housing and public infrustructural systems as a result of the prolonged United States invasion in the area trying to eliminate the Taliban.

The Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) reports that in Faryab alone at least 12 people have been killed and 10 others in Herat province.

Eight people were killed in Badghis province and in total more than 3,000 houses have been destroyed.

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In addition, the floods and mudslides have destroyed several historic sites, thousands of acres of farmland, bridges and roads, said Jilani Farhad, spokeswoman for Herat province.

Herat resident, Shir Ahmad told Reuters: "My house and my farmland have been destroyed by the floods. If you go and see the destruction, it makes you want to cry."

Mir Gulabuddin Miri, director of the Afghan Red Crescent in Herat, told Al Jazeera: "The destruction is huge. Over 12 areas in the province have been badly hit, people have lost their houses. We've only been able to provide them with some food and blankets so far," said the aid worker.

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