Snowstorms leave scores dead in Afghanistan, Pakistan

14 Janvier, 2020, 18:33 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Pakistan's Balochistan province has particularly been hit hard with at least 14 deaths reported in the past 24 hours

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"Most of those who died were women and children", said Mohammad Younus, an official with the provincial disaster management authority, adding that hundreds remained stranded.

At least 55 people were killed and many others were missing after avalanches hit Pakistan-administered Kashmir over the last 24 hours, senior government officials said.

Avalanches and landslides triggered by heavy snowfall and incessant rain across Pakistan have left almost 75 people, including women and children, dead and over 40 injured, media reports said on Tuesday.

Moreover, snowfall blocked the highway from Mehtarzai to Zhob and several vehicles have stranded in the severe cold weather at the inter-provincial highway with dozens of passengers including women and children.

Among those fatalities, 41 died in a single avalanche in the Neelum Valley while 14 people died in elsewhere in the region, he told The Associated Press.

"Rescuers are facing difficulties in reaching the stricken villages", Ahmad Raza Qadri, the minister for the disaster management authority in Kashmir, said Tuesday.

Afghan men warm themselves during a snowy day in Kabul, Afghanistan.

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The death toll from snow-related deaths climbed to 83 on Tuesday as severe weather continued across the country bringing life to a standstill, Geo News reported.

The region's Neelum Valley was particularly hard hit, with many people left cut off from help.

"We were not expecting such a bad cold wave in the country", Tamim Azimi, a spokesman for the Natural Disaster Management team told Reuters.

Emergency had been declared in seven districts of Balochistan, which were badly affected due to heavy rain and snowfall.

So far, about 300 houses have been damaged across Afghanistan because of snowfall, floods and landslides, the agency said.

Residents of the Afghan capital, Kabul, where temperatures dropped to -15 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit), abandoned driving and struggled to get to work on snow-covered roads.

Major thoroughfares in Balochistan, including Bolan Road, Khanozai Road and Quetta-Chaman Road have been closed for the time being, the statement said, adding that the most snowfall recorded in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was at Lowari Approach Road at a whopping 23 inches.



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