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Heavy rains set off flash floods in northern Afghanistan, killing at least 84 people

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Heavy rains set off flash floods in northern Afghanistan, killing at least 84 people
News

News

Heavy rains set off flash floods in northern Afghanistan, killing at least 84 people

2024-05-19 20:14 Last Updated At:20:20

ISLAMABAD (AP) — More heavy rains in Afghanistan have triggered flash floods, raising the death toll to 84 in the country’s north following weeks of devastating torrents that had already left hundreds dead and missing, a Taliban spokesman said Sunday.

The new round of heavy rains and floods hit four districts in Faryab province Saturday night, leaving 66 dead, five injured and eight missing. Another 18 people had died in floods on Friday, said Esmatullah Moradi, spokesman for the provincial governor in Faryab.

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An Afghan man collects his belongings from his damaged home after heavy flooding in Ghor province in western Afghanistan, Saturday, May 18, 2024. Flash floods from heavy seasonal rains in Ghor province killed dozens of people and dozens remain missing, a Taliban official said on Saturday, adding the death toll was based on preliminary reports and might rise. (AP Photo/Omid Haqjoo)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — More heavy rains in Afghanistan have triggered flash floods, raising the death toll to 84 in the country’s north following weeks of devastating torrents that had already left hundreds dead and missing, a Taliban spokesman said Sunday.

Afghan men collect their belongings from their damaged home after heavy flooding in Ghor province in western Afghanistan, Saturday, May 18, 2024. Flash floods from heavy seasonal rains in Ghor province killed dozens of people and dozens remain missing, a Taliban official said on Saturday, adding the death toll was based on preliminary reports and might rise. (AP Photo/Omid Haqjoo)

Afghan men collect their belongings from their damaged home after heavy flooding in Ghor province in western Afghanistan, Saturday, May 18, 2024. Flash floods from heavy seasonal rains in Ghor province killed dozens of people and dozens remain missing, a Taliban official said on Saturday, adding the death toll was based on preliminary reports and might rise. (AP Photo/Omid Haqjoo)

Afghan men collect their belongings from their damaged homes after heavy flooding in Ghor province in western Afghanistan, Saturday, May 18, 2024. Flash floods from heavy seasonal rains in Ghor province killed dozens of people and dozens remain missing, a Taliban official said on Saturday, adding the death toll was based on preliminary reports and might rise. (AP Photo/Omid Haqjoo)

Afghan men collect their belongings from their damaged homes after heavy flooding in Ghor province in western Afghanistan, Saturday, May 18, 2024. Flash floods from heavy seasonal rains in Ghor province killed dozens of people and dozens remain missing, a Taliban official said on Saturday, adding the death toll was based on preliminary reports and might rise. (AP Photo/Omid Haqjoo)

A damaged house is seen after heavy flooding in Ghor province in western Afghanistan, Saturday, May 18, 2024. Flash floods from heavy seasonal rains in Ghor province killed dozens of people and many remain missing, a Taliban official said on Saturday, adding the death toll was based on preliminary reports and might rise. (AP Photo/Omid Haqjoo)

A damaged house is seen after heavy flooding in Ghor province in western Afghanistan, Saturday, May 18, 2024. Flash floods from heavy seasonal rains in Ghor province killed dozens of people and many remain missing, a Taliban official said on Saturday, adding the death toll was based on preliminary reports and might rise. (AP Photo/Omid Haqjoo)

An Afghan couple sit near their damaged home after heavy flooding in Ghor province in western Afghanistan, Saturday, May 18, 2024. Flash floods from heavy seasonal rains in Ghor province dozens of people and dozens remain missing, a Taliban official said on Saturday, adding the death toll was based on preliminary reports and might rise. (AP Photo/Omid Haqjoo)

An Afghan couple sit near their damaged home after heavy flooding in Ghor province in western Afghanistan, Saturday, May 18, 2024. Flash floods from heavy seasonal rains in Ghor province dozens of people and dozens remain missing, a Taliban official said on Saturday, adding the death toll was based on preliminary reports and might rise. (AP Photo/Omid Haqjoo)

Moradi said that around 1,500 houses were either completely or partially destroyed while hundreds of hectares (acres) of farmlands were washed away and more than 300 animals killed.

Afghanistan has been witnessing unusually heavy seasonal rains.

In the hard-hit western province of Ghor, 50 people were reported dead from Friday’s floods, according to Abdul Wahid Hamas, spokesman for the provincial governor.

The U.N. food agency said Ghor was the most affected by the floods. Last week, the World Food Program said the exceptionally heavy rains in Afghanistan had killed more than 300 people and destroyed thousands of houses, mostly in the northern province of Baghlan.

Survivors have been left with no home, no land, and no source of livelihood, WFP said, adding that most of Baghlan was inaccessible by trucks.

The latest disaster came on the heels of devastating floods that killed at least 70 people in April. The waters also destroyed about 2,000 homes, three mosques and four schools in western Farah and Herat, and southern Zabul and Kandahar provinces.

An Afghan man collects his belongings from his damaged home after heavy flooding in Ghor province in western Afghanistan, Saturday, May 18, 2024. Flash floods from heavy seasonal rains in Ghor province killed dozens of people and dozens remain missing, a Taliban official said on Saturday, adding the death toll was based on preliminary reports and might rise. (AP Photo/Omid Haqjoo)

An Afghan man collects his belongings from his damaged home after heavy flooding in Ghor province in western Afghanistan, Saturday, May 18, 2024. Flash floods from heavy seasonal rains in Ghor province killed dozens of people and dozens remain missing, a Taliban official said on Saturday, adding the death toll was based on preliminary reports and might rise. (AP Photo/Omid Haqjoo)

Afghan men collect their belongings from their damaged home after heavy flooding in Ghor province in western Afghanistan, Saturday, May 18, 2024. Flash floods from heavy seasonal rains in Ghor province killed dozens of people and dozens remain missing, a Taliban official said on Saturday, adding the death toll was based on preliminary reports and might rise. (AP Photo/Omid Haqjoo)

Afghan men collect their belongings from their damaged home after heavy flooding in Ghor province in western Afghanistan, Saturday, May 18, 2024. Flash floods from heavy seasonal rains in Ghor province killed dozens of people and dozens remain missing, a Taliban official said on Saturday, adding the death toll was based on preliminary reports and might rise. (AP Photo/Omid Haqjoo)

Afghan men collect their belongings from their damaged homes after heavy flooding in Ghor province in western Afghanistan, Saturday, May 18, 2024. Flash floods from heavy seasonal rains in Ghor province killed dozens of people and dozens remain missing, a Taliban official said on Saturday, adding the death toll was based on preliminary reports and might rise. (AP Photo/Omid Haqjoo)

Afghan men collect their belongings from their damaged homes after heavy flooding in Ghor province in western Afghanistan, Saturday, May 18, 2024. Flash floods from heavy seasonal rains in Ghor province killed dozens of people and dozens remain missing, a Taliban official said on Saturday, adding the death toll was based on preliminary reports and might rise. (AP Photo/Omid Haqjoo)

A damaged house is seen after heavy flooding in Ghor province in western Afghanistan, Saturday, May 18, 2024. Flash floods from heavy seasonal rains in Ghor province killed dozens of people and many remain missing, a Taliban official said on Saturday, adding the death toll was based on preliminary reports and might rise. (AP Photo/Omid Haqjoo)

A damaged house is seen after heavy flooding in Ghor province in western Afghanistan, Saturday, May 18, 2024. Flash floods from heavy seasonal rains in Ghor province killed dozens of people and many remain missing, a Taliban official said on Saturday, adding the death toll was based on preliminary reports and might rise. (AP Photo/Omid Haqjoo)

An Afghan couple sit near their damaged home after heavy flooding in Ghor province in western Afghanistan, Saturday, May 18, 2024. Flash floods from heavy seasonal rains in Ghor province dozens of people and dozens remain missing, a Taliban official said on Saturday, adding the death toll was based on preliminary reports and might rise. (AP Photo/Omid Haqjoo)

An Afghan couple sit near their damaged home after heavy flooding in Ghor province in western Afghanistan, Saturday, May 18, 2024. Flash floods from heavy seasonal rains in Ghor province dozens of people and dozens remain missing, a Taliban official said on Saturday, adding the death toll was based on preliminary reports and might rise. (AP Photo/Omid Haqjoo)

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Dali cargo ship leaves Baltimore for Virginia, nearly 3 months after bridge collapse

2024-06-25 07:26 Last Updated At:07:30

The cargo ship Dali headed out of Baltimore for Virginia on Monday, nearly three months after it lost power and crashed into one of the Francis Scott Key bridge’s supporting columns and caused the bridge to collapse.

The 984-foot Dali started moving shortly before 8:30 a.m. with four tugboats.

The Dali was sailing under its own power with a full crew of 22 and six salvage experts, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a news release.

The Coast Guard is overseeing the voyage and providing a 500-yard safety zone around the Dali during its trip.

The Dali is scheduled to go directly to Virginia International Gateway to have roughly 1,500 cargo containers off-loaded to reduce draft, the Coast Guard said. The vessel is then scheduled to travel further to Norfolk International Terminal, where it is scheduled to undergo continued salvage and repairs from damage caused during the bridge collapse.

Shortly after leaving the Port of Baltimore early on March 26, the ship lost power and propulsion and crashed into one of the bridge’s supporting columns, killing six construction workers.

On May 20, the Dali was refloated and guided back to port. The vessel had been stuck amid the wreckage for almost two months, with a massive steel truss draped across its damaged bow.

A National Transportation Safety Board investigation found the ship experienced two power outages in the hours before it left the Port of Baltimore. In the moments before the bridge collapsed, it lost power again and veered off course. The agency is still investigating what caused the electrical failures.

In an update to its May investigative report, the NTSB said Monday that investigators have completed in-person interviews with the Dali’s crew.

The update noted that investigators have removed an electrical component known as a terminal block, as well as two portions of control wiring associated with the terminal block.

“We continue to examine the removed components at the NTSB Materials Laboratory,” the board said. “We will continue to evaluate the design and operation of the vessel’s electrical power distribution system, and investigate all aspects of the accident to determine the probable cause and identify potential safety recommendations.”

Last week, under an agreement confirmed by a federal judge, some members of the Dali's crew were allowed to return home. Of the 10 allowed to leave, eight have done so, said Darrell Wilson, a spokesperson for ship manager Synergy Marine. The roughly two dozen total seafarers hail from India and Sri Lanka.

Under the agreement, the crew members who return home must be available for depositions.

Thousands of longshoremen, truckers and small business owners have seen their jobs impacted by the collapse, prompting local and state officials to prioritize reopening the port and restoring its traffic to normal capacity in hopes of easing the economic ripple effects.

Earlier this month, officials announced the reopening of the Fort McHenry federal channel, after clearing wreckage from the 700-foot-wide by 50-foot deep channel.

Monday also was the submission deadline in Maryland for proposals to rebuild the bridge. Procurement regulations prohibit the state from providing information about the proposals until the contract award is made and the state announces the design-build team. The state estimates the award and announcement sometime in mid- to late summer.

Officials have said they hope to rebuild the bridge by 2028.

The container ship Dali pulls away from the Seagirt Marine Terminal on its way to Norfolk, Monday, June 24, 2024, nearly three months after the ship hit a support pier of the Francis Scott Key Bridge causing a catastrophic collapse. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

The container ship Dali pulls away from the Seagirt Marine Terminal on its way to Norfolk, Monday, June 24, 2024, nearly three months after the ship hit a support pier of the Francis Scott Key Bridge causing a catastrophic collapse. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

The container ship Dali pulls away from the Seagirt Marine Terminal on its way to Norfolk, Monday, June 24, 2024, nearly three months after the ship hit a support pier of the Francis Scott Key Bridge causing a catastrophic collapse. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

The container ship Dali pulls away from the Seagirt Marine Terminal on its way to Norfolk, Monday, June 24, 2024, nearly three months after the ship hit a support pier of the Francis Scott Key Bridge causing a catastrophic collapse. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

The container ship Dali approaches the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Monday, June 24, 2024, on its way to Norfolk, Va., as a man fishes at Sandy Point State Park. Ninety days ago the ship hit a support pier of the bridge causing a catastrophic collapse. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

The container ship Dali approaches the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Monday, June 24, 2024, on its way to Norfolk, Va., as a man fishes at Sandy Point State Park. Ninety days ago the ship hit a support pier of the bridge causing a catastrophic collapse. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

This image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sailfish, an 87-foot Marine Protector class vessel, as it prepares to escort the Motor Vessel Dali during its transit from the Port of Baltimore to the Port of Virginia, Monday, June 24, 2024. (Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Bokum/U.S. Coast Guard via AP)

This image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sailfish, an 87-foot Marine Protector class vessel, as it prepares to escort the Motor Vessel Dali during its transit from the Port of Baltimore to the Port of Virginia, Monday, June 24, 2024. (Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Bokum/U.S. Coast Guard via AP)

FILE - The collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge rests on the container ship Dali, May 12, 2024, in Baltimore, as seen from Riviera Beach, Md. Crew members on the cargo ship Dali can head home as soon as Thursday, June 20, 2024, under an agreement that allows lawyers to question them amid ongoing investigations into what led to the deadly collapse of Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)

FILE - The collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge rests on the container ship Dali, May 12, 2024, in Baltimore, as seen from Riviera Beach, Md. Crew members on the cargo ship Dali can head home as soon as Thursday, June 20, 2024, under an agreement that allows lawyers to question them amid ongoing investigations into what led to the deadly collapse of Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)

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