Heavy snow claims over 54 lives in Afghanistan

Feb 06, 2017, 00:30
Heavy snow claims over 54 lives in Afghanistan

Hafiz Abdul Qayum, governor of Nuristan province in Afghanistan, told Reuters: "Based on information from district officials, 50 dead bodies have been recovered and the number may increase".

There were reports of deaths in Parwan, to the north of Kabul; Badakhshan in the northeast; and several other parts of the country.

In the northern province of Badakhshan, over the past two days as many as 19 people were killed and 17 injured by avalanches, collapsed roofs and road accidents, said Naweed Frotan, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

Five people were killed by avalanches in the Balkhab district of Sari Pul province in northern Afghanistan and at least 70 people trapped under the snow were being rescued, Zabiullah Amani, the provincial spokesman told AFP.

Dozens of cars and buses were stranded for hours along one highway west of Kabul while heavy snow fell, measuring a yard and a half in some places.

Neighbouring Pakistan was also hit by severe weather, with at least 13 people killed in the northwest by avalanches or heavy rain.

Updating earlier figures, Mohammadi went on to say that heavy snowfalls and avalanches had claimed the lives of at least 54 people and wounded over 50 others across the country during the past three days. Officials fear more people are trapped beneath the thick wall of snow.

"It will remain blocked until the snow is cleared from the main road, facilities are provided and it is safe to travel", he said.

Nine people, including four children, were killed in the village of Shershal in the region - which has experienced up to 4ft of snowfall.

The Salang pass north of Kabul was also closed under as much as 2.5m of snow, local police chief Rajab Salangi said, according to Reuters news agency. The power supply was also interrupted in some areas of the capital.

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