Two days of heavy rains triggered flash floods in northern Afghanistan on late Sunday, killing scores of people at a wedding ceremony and leaving an unknown number of people missing, officials said on Monday.
It happened at around 8 p.m. local time on Sunday when two days of heavy rains caused floodwaters to rush down the mountains in Sar-e Pol province, flooding towns in the districts of Sancharak and Kohistanat. The worst affected area was the village of Deh Murda near the Sancharak River.
The office of Afghan President Hamid Karzai reported at least 22 people were killed in Deh Murda, where a wedding ceremony was taking place at the time of the disaster. Some reports claimed between 80 and 300 people were missing in the town on Monday, but a provincial official said only four were unaccounted for.
In addition to the casualties in Deh Murda, at least three other people were killed and two people were injured as a result of flash floods in the Kohistanat district of Sar-e Pol province. The National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) reported an overall death toll of 27, although it did not say where they were killed or how many were missing.
A spokesperson for ANDMA said an unknown number of homes and large parts of farmland were destroyed in the floods, which also killed large numbers of animals. Roads to the disaster-hit area have been blocked, further hampering rescue efforts launched by authorities.