Published: Mon, February 06, 2017
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

Dozens Killed in Afghanistan and Pakistan Avalanches After Heavy Snowfall

Heavy snowfall in recent days has battered homes, stranded drivers in freezing cars, and blocked roads and mountain passes.

The snow caused havoc on major roads, including the Kabul-Kandahar Highway, where police and soldiers rescued some 250 vehicles trapped by the storm.

Spokesperson for the provincial governor, Navid Farotan said that 22 of the fatalities occurred in the remote Badakhshan province, where the roads in 12 districts remained closed.

According to Reuters, at least 50 people died and dozens more were missing after an avalanche buried a village in eastern Afghanistan, provincial governor Hafiz Abdul Qayum said.

Afghanistan officials said the death toll following three days of heavy snow rose to 54 on Sunday.

In 2015, deadly avalanches in northern Afghanistan killed hundreds and destroyed homes.

"We are trying to rescue them".

Earlier today, a public holiday was declared by the Afghan government due to the heavy snowfall.

Freezing weather also killed at least two people and over 100 animals in western Badghis province.

In neighbouring Pakistan, at least 13 people have been killed after the northern district of Chitral was hit by a deluge of snow on Saturday.

As many as 14 people are still believed to be trapped beneath collapsed houses, with the ongoing bad weather hindering rescue operations.

The main global airport in Kabul has been closed because of snow and ice on the runway.

Each winter, heavy snowfall and avalanches kill scores of people in Afghanistan, where inadequate emergency equipment does not match the scope of natural disasters.

Like this: