Situation Alert: More than a hundred die as Avalanche hits parts of...

Situation Alert: More than a hundred die as Avalanche hits parts of Afghanistan

source: aljazeera.com and AFP

More than a hundred people have been killed as a series of avalanches triggered by days of heavy snowfall around hit Afghanistan. In one village alone, more than fifty people have died in the avalanche. Officials warned on Sunday that the death toll may rise further.

The avalanches struck after three days of heavy snow fall, destroying many homes and blocked roads in central and northeastern provinces. The ruthless weather and high snow levels hampered rescue efforts to reach isolated villages, thus, raising fears about the toll rising sharply.

Most of the casualties  are however reported in remote Nuristan province, where at least fifty people were killed in a single village. Two entire villages were buried in Bargmatal district; 50 bodies were recovered from one village while rescuers are  currently trying to reach the other village.

Elsewhere 54 people were killed in northern and central Afghan provinces, where officials said massive avalanches destroyed 168 houses and killed hundreds of cattle.

At least eighteen people, including three women and two children, In the northeastern province of Badakhshan, have reportedly died and dozens are still trapped under the rubble and snow.  The blockage of roads has made it difficult however for rescue workers to reach them said provincial spokesman Naweed Frotan.

According to provincial spokesman Zabiullah Amani, five more have died in the avalanches in the Balkhab district of Sari Pul province in northern Afghanistan and at least seventy people are trapped under snow are being rescued at the moment.

Two people and over a hundred farming animals have died due to the extremely cold temperature in the western province of Badghis. Whereas in the Parwan province,  just north of Kabul, sixteen people have reportedly died.

The government declared Sunday (which is otherwise a working day in Afghanistan), a public holiday to deter non-essential travel and to ensure schools are closed[1].

Community World Service Asia is collecting information from different sources. Its emergency response teams are ready and will formulate the strategy, should there be any need of emergency response.

Contacts:

Nejabat Khan Safi
Associate Director
Email: nejabat.safi@communitryworldservice.asia
Cell: +93 78 468 6250

Palwashay Arbab
Head of Communications
Email: palwashay.arbab@communityworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 42 3586 5338

Sources:
www.samaa.com

[1] AFP