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Deadly downpours

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More than 80 people have been killed and thousands more have been forced to flee their homes after flooding in a remote part of northern Afghanistan last weekend.

The deadly flash floods were just the latest in a number of incidents, which have led to landslides and avalanches in the country’s mountains, where many villages and roads are virtually cut off from the rest of civilisation.

850 houses were completely destroyed by these most recent floods with more than 1,000 damaged, leaving people in need of shelter, food, water and medicine.

VICTIMS: Thousands of people have been affected by the floods with many being forced to flee their homes and 81 people being killed

VICTIMS: Thousands of people have been affected by the floods with many being forced to flee their homes and 81 people being killed

The death toll stood at 81 as of Sunday yet the search for missing people continues according to police chief in the Guzirga i-Nur district of Baghlan province, Lt Fazel Rahman.

“So far no one has come to help us. People are trying to find their missing family members,” he said, adding that the district's police force was overstretched by the scale of the disaster and needed reinforcement.

General Mohammad Zahir Azimi, spokesman for the Afghan defence ministry, said two army helicopters had been sent to the area to provide assistance.

Guzirga i-Nur district is located more than 85 miles (140km) north of the provincial capital, Puli Khumri.

Jawed Basharat, the spokesman for the Baghlan provincial police, said they were aware of the flooding, but that it would take eight to nine hours for them to reach the area by road.

Afghans living in the northern mountains have largely been spared from the country's decades of war, but are no strangers to natural disasters.

Last month, a landslide triggered by heavy rain buried large sections of a remote north-eastern village in the Badakhshan province which borders China, displacing some 700 families.

Authorities have yet to provide an exact figure on the number of dead from the 2nd May landslide, and estimates have ranged from 250 to 2,700. Officials say it will be impossible to dig up all the bodies.

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