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More Than 100 Killed in Afghanistan Avalanches


FILE - An Afghan man carries a ballot box on his back to polling stations which are not accessible by road in Shutul, Panjshir province, April 4, 2014. More than 100 people have died in avalanches in the region, local officials said, Feb. 25, 2015.

More than 100 people have been killed in avalanches caused by heavy snowfall in the mountainous province of Panjshir, local officials said Wednesday, and the death toll is expected to rise.

Provincial Governor Abdul Rahman Kabiri said the region, where avalanches are common, has had two days of heavy snowfall. The snowstorm is expected to last another two days, Reuters reported.

Map of Afghanistan showing Panjshir province
Map of Afghanistan showing Panjshir province

“We haven't seen this much snow, or this many avalanches, for 30 years. If the central government doesn't provide humanitarian support, machinery and food soon, this will turn to a disaster," Kabiri told Reuters.

He added that more than 20 people had been injured.

Rescuers in some areas were being forced to use their bare hands and shovels to try to reach survivors, Kabiri told The Associated Press.

Other than the recent storm, Afghanistan has experienced an unusually dry winter.

Some material for this report came from Reuters, AFP and AP.