Dozens Killed As Heavy Snowfall Hits Afghanistan, Pakistan

Child street vendors carry their wares as they walk through snow on the outskirts of Kabul

Child street vendors carry their wares as they walk through snow on the outskirts of Kabul

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, provincial spokesman Zabiullah Amani said. Dozens more were missing on Sunday after an avalanche buried a village in Nuristan, provincial governor Hafiz Abdul Qayum said.

"Based on information from district officials, 50 bodies have been recovered and the number may increase", he said.

At least five other deaths from collapsed roofs were reported elsewhere in Nuristan.

In the north-eastern province of Badakhshan, officials confirmed at least 18 people - including three women and two children - after avalanches hit their homes.

The district of Parwan, which sits 115 kilometers northwest of the Afghan capital of Kabul, was the hardest hit area and has been proven very difficult to reach following the heavy snowfall.

"So far the rescue workers have recovered nine bodies and efforts are under way to retrieve more", he said.

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Back in 2015, some 300 people lost their lives after they were buried under avalanches across the Asian country, majority in the eastern mountainous province of Panjshir, north of the capital, Kabul.

Iceand snow shut Kabul airport. Numerous local roads are blocked by snow and ice. The snow has proved, in many cases, an insurmountable obstacle to rescue operations.

A separate avalanche killed a soldier at a border checkpoint in Chitral district, a military statement said, while six more soldiers were injured.

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

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