KABUL (Afghanistan): A dam ruptured in southern Afghans stand in a market that was devastated by floodwater in Ghazni, south of Kabul, Afghanistan Tuesday, March-29, 2005.Afghanistan early Tuesday, unleashing floods which killed at least six people and washed away hundreds of houses and shops, the provincial governor said.
The US military sent Black Hawk helicopters to help with rescue operations after the Bandi Sultan dam burst and swamped Ghazni city, 150 kilometers (93 miles) south of Kabul, and the surrounding area.
“We have reports of at least six people who have died in floods,” Ghazni province governor Asadullah Khalid said, adding that it was impossible to confirm exact casualties because roads to the affected region were flooded.
“The damage due to the flood is huge. Hundreds of shops have been destroyed in the city of Ghazni, thousands of hectares of agricultural land has been washed away and hundreds of livestock have died,” he added.
Aid workers were installing a camp to house 100 families displaced by the rising waters, Mohammed Ghaus Awlia, head of the Afghan Red Cresent Society said.“I have witnessed hundreds of metal containers which were being used as grocery and clothes shops floating towards the river from the city of Ghazni,” he said.
“Witnesses say they have seen around five bodies floating in the water but for exact figures of casualties we have to wait till the water recedes,” he added.
“A dam did burst in Ghazni—we sent four Black Hawk helicopters,” Lieutenant Cindy Moore, a spokeswoman for the US forces in Afghanistan said.
Flooding caused by melting snow and torrential rains has already left around 200 Afghans dead in recent weeks. Hundreds more died from disease, starvation and accidents during the country’s worst winter in a decade.