A mudslide has killed five children in northern Afghanistan, where weeks of heavy rain has killed about 150 people and destroyed hundreds of houses, officials said on Saturday.

The children, aged between seven and 10, died in the northern province of Balkh late on Friday when they were buried by earth and stones as they were playing and watching animals graze, deputy provincial governor Abdul Satar Barez said.

The earth had been loosened by construction and days of downpour, he said.

Northern Afghanistan has suffered heavy rains since March, with the consequent floods, mudslides and avalanches killing around 150 people, disaster management directorate official Ahmad Shekib told AFP.

Afghan media reports said around 4,500 houses had been destroyed and thousands of hectares of farmland washed away, with roads, irrigation canals and wells also damaged.

The worst affected provinces have been in the north, including Badakshan and Takhar which are in the Hindu Kush mountain range and regularly struck by avalanches and flooding when winter snows melt.

The NATO-led military force, in Afghanistan to help fight a Taliban-led insurgency, has helped to airlift government and UN humanitarian relief to the area, a spokesman said.

The fledgling Afghan Air Corps also evacuated around 1,200 people from the north over 10 days, an official said.

Agence France-Presse