Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran – Dozens Feared Dead After Devastating Flash Floods

Heavy rain has caused flash flooding and landslides in areas of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan over the last few days. Parts of Kandahar Province in Afghanistan recorded around half its annual rainfall in 30 hours. Parts of Pakistan have also been affected by severe snowstorms.

According to media reports, as many as 50 people have died as a result of flooding, landslides or collapsing buildings across the 3 countries.

Afghanistan

Heavy rain in Afghanistan has caused flooding in the provinces of Kandahar, Kunar, Zabul, Nimroz, Hirat and Farah, according to a report by the United Nations. Infrastructure as well as hundreds of homes have been damaged.

Kandahar Province

Heavy rain fell in Kandahar Province from 01 March, 2019. UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said that flooding affected Kandahar city and the districts of Zheri, Dand, Damand, Arghandab, Spinboldak, and Takhtapu.

Around 97 mm of rain fell in 30 hours, which is the equivalent of about half the annual rainfall for the area. As recently as January parts of the province were suffering from drought.

Initial reports suggested that as many as 20 people had died in Kandahar Province when their homes collapsed or the vehicles they were traveling in were swept away. A further 10 people were reported as missing and it was feared that up to 2,000 homes have been damaged. Schools and public buildings have suffered damage.

Since then updated reports have confirmed 8 fatalities, with 18 people injured and 10 missing. More than 1,000 people stranded by the flood waters have been rescued by the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). In Arghandab district alone, an estimated 1,500 families have been affected by the floods; the majority of the affected people are from the Kochi (nomadic) community.

Farah Province

In Farah Province, local media reports say that 85% of Farah City is underwater following heavy rains on 02 March, 2019.

UNOCHA say that the districts of Korji, Qala-e-Ghulam Sediq, Police Districts 1, 2, 3, Hanif Abad, Shaikh Abad and Anar Dara in the province have also been severely affected by flooding. Roads have been blocked by flood water causing severe transport problems. Telecommunications are down, hampering communication between flood-affected people, local authorities and humanitarian partners.

A total of 500 families have been displaced in the province, according to UNOCHA, while ANSF are carrying out rescue operations to relocate people trapped by the flood waters.

Hirat Province

In Hirat, flooding has been reported in Shindand, Zawol, Zirkoh, Pashtunzarghun and Obe districts. In Shindand 200 houses have reportedly been swept away. UNOCHA said that the full extent of the damage in other affected districts is still being assessed.

Pakistan

Military have carried out large-scale rescue operations in Balochistan province after flash flooding. Meanwhile as many as 14 people have reportedly died in severe weather in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. This is the second spate of deadly flash flooding within two weeks in the two provinces.

Balochistan

Local media report that as many as 10 people have died after heavy snowfall and flooding in parts of Balochistan province. Around 1,500 stranded families have been rescued by military in Lasbela and Qillah Abdulla districts. Chagai district has also been severely affected. Pakistan military have distributed relief items and food rations to 3,500 families in the rain-affected areas.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Local media also said that heavy rain and snow had caused landslides and flooding in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, leaving as many as 12 people dead and 14 injured. The affected districts include Khyber, North Waziristan, South Waziristan, Charsadda and Tank.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) said that bad weather caused damage to 31 houses in different parts of the province.

Iran

Meanwhile local media in Iran report that 3 border guards have died in flash flooding in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, which borders Pakistan’s Balochistan Province.

The guards were killed after they became trapped in floodwaters while performing patrol duty near Mirjaveh in Mirjaveh County. Mirjaveh is situated around 500km south west of Kandahar in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) said it has offered relief services to over 11,700 people and travellers who needed help due to snowfall and flooding from 27 February. IRCS said that as many as 163 towns, villages and nomad groups in 25 provinces have been affected.

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Flood Summary

Last updated: March 13, 2019
Event
Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, March 2019
Date
March 1, 2019
Type
Flash flood, Landslide
Cause
Extreme rainfall
Heavy rain has caused flash flooding and landslides in areas of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan over the last few days. Parts of Kandahar Province in Afghanistan recorded around half its annual rainfall in 30 hours. Parts of Pakistan have also been affected by severe snowstorms. According to media reports, as many as 50 people have died as a result of flooding, landslides or collapsing buildings across the 3 countries.

Locations

A - Kandahar (Afghanistan)
B - Hirat (Afghanistan)
C - Farah (Afghanistan)
D - Balochistan (Pakistan)
E - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Pakistan)
F - Mirjaveh (Iran)
G - Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Pakistan)
H - Helmand (Afghanistan)
I - Kandahar - Rainfall level 97 mm in 30 hours
J - Herat - Rainfall level 41 mm in 24 hours
K - Herat - Rainfall level 52 mm in 24 hours
L - Dalbandin - Rainfall level 44 mm in 24 hours
M - Malam Jabba - Rainfall level 39 mm in 24 hours

Magnitude

Rainfall level
97 mm in 30 hours
Kandahar - March 1 to March 2, 2019
UNOCHA said 97 mm of rain fell in 30 hours to 02 March
Rainfall level
41 mm in 24 hours
Herat - March 5 to March 6, 2019
Ogimet figures
Rainfall level
52 mm in 24 hours
Herat - March 1 to March 2, 2019
Ogimet figures
Rainfall level
44 mm in 24 hours
Dalbandin - March 1 to March 2, 2019
PMD figures
Rainfall level
39 mm in 24 hours
Malam Jabba - March 2 to March 3, 2019
PMD figures

Damages

Fatalities
70 people
Afghanistan - March 1 to March 13, 2019
According to UNOCHA.
Fatalities
14 people
Balochistan - March 1 to March 4, 2019
Pakistan NDMA later confirmed 6 deaths and 12 injuries (see link below)
Rescued
8,000
Balochistan - March 1 to March 4, 2019
Around 1,500 stranded families have been rescued by military in Lasbela and Qillah Abdulla districts
Fatalities
12 people
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa - March 1 to March 4, 2019
Local media also said that heavy rain and snow had caused landslides and flooding in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, leaving as many as 12 people dead and 14 injured. Pakistan NDMA later confirmed 3 deaths and 11 injuries (see link below)
Fatalities
3 people
Mirjaveh - March 1 to March 4, 2019
Buildings damaged
2,546
Balochistan - March 1 to March 4, 2019
Confirmed by Pakistan NDMA
Fatalities
9 people
Federally Administered Tribal Areas - March 1 to March 4, 2019
Confirmed by Pakistan NDMA, with 9 injured and 15 houses damaged
Evacuated
5,000
Kandahar - March 1 to March 6, 2019
Buildings destroyed
16,000
Afghanistan - March 1 to March 6, 2019
According to UNOCHA, 16,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed