Devastating flash floods in Afghanistan struck areas in eight provinces across the country, killing at least 31 people and leaving scores more missing, civil defence officials said.
In the Pakistani border province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, thunderstorms and strong winds over the weekend caused landslides that damaged roads and buildings, according to the newspaper Dawn. At least nine people were killed.
More than 100 people have died in Pakistan since the monsoon rains began at the end of June.
In Afghanistan’s central Maidan Wardak province, numerous residents were killed in their sleep by rapidly rising floodwaters. Dozens more are missing, according to disaster response authorities, after hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed and roads closed by the flash floods.
In a statement, Afghanistan’s militant Islamist Taliban government called on aid agencies to provide emergency support to the victims.
Flash floods usually catch people by surprise as there is no alarm system in the mountainous country.
Extreme weather events occur regularly in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, which are badly affected by the consequences of climate change. The situation is particularly dire in Afghanistan, which is in the grip of a humanitarian catastrophe following several decades of war and conflict.
The conflicts, coupled with environmental degradation and insufficient investment in disaster risk reduction, have contributed to the increasing vulnerability of Afghans to natural disasters, according to the United Nations.
On average, natural disasters affect 200,000 people in Afghanistan each year.
In 2022, record floods in the monsoon season temporarily flooded a third of the country, killing around 1,700 people.