Afghan avalanches cut off 3 northern districts

AP News
Posted: Mar 03, 2015 5:59 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Avalanches have cut off at least three districts in a remote part of northern Afghanistan, the head of a disaster relief agency said Tuesday, a week after nearly 200 people died when snow buried their homes in a valley near the capital Kabul.

Severe weather conditions in Takhar province in the last 24 hours have cut road access to the districts, said Daim Kakar, the general director of the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority.

Authorities were attempting to reach villages to deliver emergency supplies, including food, blankets and tea. "Bulldozers are being brought in to clear the roads of snow so that the deliveries can be made," Kakar said.

Across Afghanistan, 320 people have been killed and 187 injured since severe rain and snow swept across 20 provinces early last week, he said.

In Panjshir province, 100 kilometers (60 miles) northeast of Kabul, a total of 196 people died in a huge avalanche early last week, according to acting Gov. Abdul Rahman Kabiri.

Authorities have been dropping food and other supplies to people stranded on their rooftops in the far north of the Panjshir Valley, with the military deploying helicopters while roads were being cleared.

More than 4,000 houses have been damaged across 188 districts, and more than 3,200 livestock have been killed, according to official figures.