Dozens killed after avalanches hit Afghanistan

Alicia WestFeb 06, 2017

Almost 20 people are reported dead in Afghanistan's northern province of Badakhshan due to avalanches, collapsed roofs and blocked roads.

Dozens of people in Afghanistan and Pakistan were killed after heavy snow and avalanches over the weekend.

Meanwhile, the provincial governor, Hafiz Abdul Qayoum, confirmed that at least 16 other people had been injured in the incident, warning that the death toll could rise as a rescue operation was on Sunday evening still in progress in an attempt to recover the bodies of the remaining residents who are still trapped under the thick snow.

In eastern Afghanistan, more than 50 people have been confirmed dead while at least nine have been killed in Pakistan.

The inaccessibility of some mountainous areas and the closure of many roads linking scores of villages with provincial capitals were obstructing the delivery of assistance where it is badly needed, he said.

He said a rescue team had been dispatched to the affected areas, but many roads have been blocked by snow.

In Afghanistan almost 100 died in the past three days - including 16 in overnight avalanches just north of the capital Kabul.

"The roads to Balkhab are still blocked and we are trying to open them", he said. Numerous local roads are blocked by snow and ice.

In Pakistan, numerous deaths were reported in the village of Shershal in Chitral district.

Officials fear more people are trapped beneath the thick wall of snow.

The region's electricity supply was also disrupted after the main power line was damaged.

In the Khyber tribal district on the Afghan border in the north-west, three children were killed and two women injured when the roof of their house collapsed in heavy rain.

Last month heavy snowfall and freezing weather killed 27 children, all under the age of five, in Jawzjan province in northern Afghanistan.

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