Four people have died and many more were made homeless in a flash flood that hit the village of Tala-o-Barfak in Baghlan Province in northern Afghanistan on Saturday 2 May 2020. The flood was one of a number of similar events that have hit Baghlan and Samangan provinces following heavy rainfall in the area over the past few days, sweeping away buildings and livestock and making many people homeless.
The approximate location of the 2 May 2020 Tala-o-Barfak flash flood. Google Maps.
Flash floods and landslides are a frequent problem in northern Afghanistan, where a mostly dry climate is broken by occasional bouts of heavy rainfall. The dry nature of the climate means that little of the landscape is covered by extensive vegetation (which can stabilise hillsides with root-growth), making the area vulnerable to flash floods. This situation is made worse by the widespread use of dried mud bricks as a building material, resulting in buildings that offer little protection against flooding and are easily swept away.
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