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Herat, Afghanistan (AFP) June 23, 2012
Flash floods in Afghanistan triggered by days of torrential rain have killed more than 30 people, officials said Saturday, with dozens reported missing.
Waters swept through villages and parts of the city of Cheghcheran in central Ghor province early on Saturday, engulfing dozens of homes, provincial spokesman Abdulhai Khatibi told AFP.
"So for I can confirm that 24 people have been killed in these floods, but some are also missing," Khatibi said.
The floodwaters also destroyed hundreds of hectares of farmland and displaced hundreds of people in the impoverished province, he said.
In the northeast of the country, two days of torrential rains and hail triggered flooding in the remote province of Badakhshan, killing at least eight and destroying up to 100 houses, the provincial head of the national disaster management authority told AFP.
"This kind of rain and hail is not common at this time of year, so people were caught off guard," Sanaullah Amiri said.
Hundreds of villagers in high-risk areas have been evacuated as a precaution against further flooding, he said.
Afghanistan's harshest winter in 15 years saw unusually heavy snowfalls and experts predicted that rivers swollen by melting snow were likely to flood in the mountainous north in spring.
In May, flash floods in Sari Pul province, which borders Ghor to the north, killed 50 people, mostly women and children.
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