The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has confirmed that the flash floods have left at least 20 dead while 10 others are missing in southern Kandahar province.

“On 1 March, heavy rains struck Kandahar city, Zheri, Dand, Damand, Arghandab, Spinboldak, and Takhtapu Districts. In the last 30 hours, 97mm of rain fell in the affected areas. Flash floods triggered by the heavy rain have reportedly killed 20 people, including a number of children, when their homes collapsed or the vehicles they were traveling in were swept away. At least 10 people, including children, are still missing in Arghandab, Daman, Spin Boldak and Dand Districts. It is anticipated that up to 2,000 homes may have been damaged across all affected districts including Kandahar City,” according to a report released by OCHA.

The report further adds that severe damage to infrastructure has been reported, including to homes. In Kandahar city alone, an estimated 600 houses have been damaged or destroyed. Flood-affected families have been evacuated to secure areas in the districts and Kandahar city including schools, mosques, Government buildings and the Haji camp. Government offices in PD#6 have been affected with buildings and documentation damaged or lost.

The Shifa area in Dand is on high alert as water levels continue to rise, OCHA said adding that “In Arghandab there are reports that a large number of Kochi (nomadic) families – approximately 500 individuals – are stranded on the river bank. There is an urgent need for air support to rescue those who are trapped and to bring in immediate relief items.”