- Reaction score
fghanistan rains kill 15, slow down Cdn. troops
Updated Fri. Nov. 17 2006 12:30 PM ET
CTV.ca News Staff
Flash-flooding in a remote northwestern Afghanistan province has killed at least 15 people while rain in the south continues to cause problems for Canadian troops.
Thousands are stranded and at least 50 people are still missing after heavy rain pummelled Badghis province's Balamurghab and Ghormach districts Thursday, said provincial official Mirza Ahmad.
Rescue crews, some riding donkeys, reached the flooded area and uncovered 10 bodies in four Balamurghab district villages. At least 50 people are still missing in the district.
In Ghormach, where at least 1,000 homes were damaged by flooding, another five bodies were found.
With about 50,000 families living in the region, Ahmad called on NATO forces to send help.
"We are seeking urgent help from the government and the (U.S.-led) coalition to help the people because the area is very remote and people's lives are at risk,'' Ahmad told The Associated Press.
NATO and Afghan officials are working on sending emergency relief to flood-affected areas, NATO spokesperson Maj. Luke Knittig told AP.
In southern Afghanistan, the heavy rain is an uncommon occurrence.
"For the past five or six days there has been a constant downpour of rain which is very unusual for southern Afghanistan -- this area has had an extreme drought for the past few years," said CTV's Steve Chao from Kandahar.
While it's still business as usual, the rain is slowing down Canadian troops.
"It is slowing down military operations," said Chao. "As you can imagine, many of these roads down here are made up of dirt so now much of it is has turned into mud which of course is slowing down the heavy military vehicles."
But the military is well-prepared with meteorologists on staff to analyze the weather.
"Their task is to measure what kind of effect the weather will have -- they even go so far as to measure how an artillery shell will fire through the rain to make sure that it constantly remains accurate despite the weather," said Chao.