KABUL, Afghanistan

The death toll from flash floods triggered by torrential rain across Afghanistan crossed 150 on Thursday, with the country’s military engaged in rescue and relief operations.

The country’s State Ministry for Disaster Management said the devastating floods caused havoc in 13 provinces, leaving at least 151 people dead and over 200 others injured, mostly women and children. It said the northern Parwan province remains worst-hit in terms of lives lost, followed by neighboring Kapisa, Panjshir, Paktia, Paktika, Nangarhar and other provinces.

Acting Defense Minister Asadullah Khalid was flanked by Gen. Scott Miller, the top NATO and US commander in Afghanistan, during a visit to Parwan as the Afghan National Army was called for the rescue and relief operations owing to the magnitude of devastation in areas with difficult terrain.

Khalid told the traumatized residents in Charikar, the provincial capital of Parwan, the army would not spare any effort in the ongoing rescue, relief and rehabilitation operations.

Estimates by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs suggest heavy rainfall has led to flash floods, affecting over 500 families (3,500 individuals).

A day earlier, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani directed all relevant departments to streamline and expedite the rescue operations under a single umbrella with Vice President Amrullah Saleh supervising.

Images circulating on the social media show destruction on mammoth scale in Parwan and surrounding areas with volunteers digging out bodies of mostly women and children from the remains of mud houses.

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