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38 killed by avalanches after heavy snow

06 February 2017

The snow and ice has forced the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul to close and over 200 motorists have been rescued along the Kabul-Kandahar highway, the BBC reports. Officials said 168 houses were destroyed and hundreds of cattle killed.

Roofs continue to collapse under the weight of the heavy snow, with authorities warning of the possibility for more avalanches as a series of relentless winter storms continues to track across the region.

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.

As many as 19 people were killed and 17 injured by avalanches, collapsed roofs, and road accidents in the province.

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

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Naweed Frotan, a spokesman for the provincial governor of Afghanistan's northern Badakhshan Province, said the government was working to reach 12 districts that had been completely cut off.

"The roads to Balkhab are still blocked and we are trying to open them", he said.

The Afghan government, on Sunday, declared a public holiday due to the heavy snowfall across the country. He said a team had been dispatched to affected areas but that many roads were blocked by snow.

An avalanche in neighbouring Pakistan killed at least 13 people and buried five homes, according to Nizamud Shah, a local official in the northern town of Chitral, adding that several other people are missing.

There are fears the number of deaths will continue to rise as heavy snowfall is predicted for the coming days.