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Death toll from avalanches in central Afghanistan reaches 21

Heavy snowfall in Afghanistan has prompted avalanches that have left 21 people dead and 10 wounded in the country’s central province of Daikundi in the last five days, the provincial governor office said on Thursday.

Kabul, 14 February 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Heavy snowfall in Afghanistan has prompted avalanches that have left 21 people dead and 10 wounded in the country’s central province of Daikundi in the last five days, the provincial governor office said on Thursday.

Following a special meeting, the provincial governor office in a statement released new casualty figures, saying they were in the province’s Miramor and Sangtakht-e-Bandar districts.

The statement also urges people to avoid unnecessary travels to the province until the end of the “emergency situation”.

Earlier today, Hasibullah Shaikhani, an official at the Disaster Management Authority, told dpa that six people have died and 23 wounded due to avalanches in the province in the last three days.

He emphasized that the figures were initial because roads were closed in several provinces due to heavy snowfall, making it impossible to dispatch teams for surveys.

Shaikhani added that six houses had been destroyed, while 20 others were partially damaged.

Mohammad Ali Urozgani, the deputy governor of Daikundi province, had also confirmed that six members of a family died and one was injured late Wednesday night due to an avalanche in the village of Hesar-e-Rabat.

Urozgani added that another house was hit by an avalanche in the village of Bamshir early on Thursday.

“The people inside the house are alive,” he said. “The local residents are trying to rescue them.”

According to the local official, dozens of sheep had also been stuck in an animal stable in the province since Wednesday.

Two days ago, a pregnant woman and her newborn child died in the province’s Ashtarlay district due to roads blocked by heavy snowfalls, Urozgani said. Residents have been unable to bury them.

The Salang Pass, one of the country’s main routes, was also closed to traffic on Thursday due to heavy snowfall and avalanches on the southern side of the pass.

All routes to districts and villages have been blocked in the past three days. Residents have almost no access to medical services.

“The central government was ready to deploy a helicopter on Wednesday to rescue people stuck in avalanches but there was not a place for the helicopter to land,” Urozgani claimed.

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