Avalanches kill over 100 in Afghanistan and Pakistan

By Chaffin Mitchell, AccuWeather staff writer
By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
February 07, 2017, 8:58:27 AM EST

    A series of avalanches was sparked by heavy snowfall in Afghanistan and Pakistan, killing at least 119 people, officials say.

    "At least 89 people have been injured and 190 homes destroyed by avalanches in multiple provinces," said Wais Ahmad Barmak, the Afghanistan minister for disaster management and humanitarian affairs.

    According to Reuters, dozens more were missing after an avalanche buried a village in eastern Afghanistan, provincial governor Hafiz Abdul Qayum said.

    An avalanche in neighboring Pakistan killed at least 14 people and buried five homes, Nizamud Shah, a local official in the northern town of Chitralv told the Associated Press. He added that several other people are missing.

    Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) will coordinate rescue efforts and arrange medical assistance, food and shelter for those affected.

    Rescue efforts were immediately launched by District Administration, Frontier Corps and other groups.


    Pakistani volunteers and army soldiers carry a body of a villager killed in an avalanche in Upper Chitral in Pakistan, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Gul Hamaad Farooqi)

    The local community is recovering bodies and rendering first aid to those injured. NDMA is also coordinating helicopter relief due to inaccessible roads.

    "It looks like most of the snow is over, and through the end of the week, it should remain mostly dry with temperatures slowly rising," AccuWeather Meteorologist Alan Reppert said. "By next weekend, there is a threat for some more snow to come."

    NDMA is continuously monitoring the situation.

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