Deadly Avalanches Bury Villages in Afghanistan and Pakistan; At Least 132 Dead

Deadly Avalanches Hit Afghan-Pakistani Border

Heavy snowfall has caused deadly avalanches along the Afghan-Pakistan border, killing at least 132 people and wounding dozens of civilians. Villages were buried.

CNN reports say the number of human casualties is expected to rise as rescue operations are underway amid harsh weather conditions.

Local authorities in Afghanistan reported 107 human casualties and 65 people injured. While in Pakistan, an avalanche rocked the district of Chitral, killing 13 people and injuring 19 people.

Three days of pounding snow was to blame for the series of avalanches that hit the border on Sunday.

Casualties in Afghanistan

Omar Mohammadib, spokesman for the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority disclosed the number of the victims, saying most of the casualties occurred in Afghanistan.

Mohamaddi said that most of the victims were women and children. Deaths were reported in the provinces of eastern Nuristan, northern Parwan, Sar-e-Pul, Badakhshan and eastern Wardak.

North of Kabul, at least 50 were killed in the Barg-e-Matal district of Nuristan province. In the cited areas, snow buried villages and closed roads to rescue workers.

An avalanche lashing a village on Afghan-Pakistani border.
An avalanche lashing a village on the Afghan-Pakistani border. Photo by: Ilan Adler,

In Pakistan

A deadly avalanche landed on the district of Chitral late Saturday night, when most residents were asleep.

In addition, in the high-altitude Garam Chashma area, local authorities confirmed the deaths of 13 people. The incident caused injuries to 19 civilians.

Shahab Ahmed, the District Coordination Officer of Chitral reported that the dead in Garam Chashma include four women, four children, and one man.

Aside from that, the devastating wave of pounding snow and ice left 19 houses in the area damaged.

Rescue Operations Underway

Amid the harsh weather, evacuation efforts are currently underway. Rescuers are experiencing difficulty reaching trapped people, because of bad weather and snow-blocked roads.

On the Kabul-Kandahar highway, police and soldiers rescued some 250 vehicles that were trapped.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) will hasten rescue efforts and arrange medical aid, food and shelter for those affected. The rescue operations include coordinating actions from the national government as well.

Officials are warning of more avalanches as snow storms are expected in the border area again on Friday.

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