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More than 110 deaths in snowstorms in Afghanistan and Pakistan

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS)

Snowfall, floods and storms have killed more than 110 people across Pakistan and Afghanistan in the past two weeks, officials in the two countries announced on Tuesday, as authorities are trying hard to reach people trapped by the heavy snowfall.

At least 75 people were killed and dozens wounded across Pakistan, while a number of people were still missing due to accidents related to bad weather, while 39 people were killed and 60 wounded in neighboring Afghanistan, according to these officials.

Weather forecasts that the inclement weather will continue.

Pakistani Kashmir was the hardest hit, with 55 people killed in recent days, a state disaster statement said.

At least 19 people were killed and ten others missing in the Neelum Valley alone, where heavy snow led to a collapse, the commission said.

Raja Shahid, the deputy administrative official for the valley adjacent to the Indian state of Kashmir, said 58 people had died and 47 had been injured in avalanches that destroyed or damaged more than 150 homes and shops.

In Balochistan (southwest), twenty people were killed, the same administration announced.

“Most of those who were killed were women and children,” Muhammad Yunus, a local disaster management official, told AFP. He spoke of 17 wounded.

He added that most people are still isolated due to bad weather, so the death toll in Balochistan cannot be final due to the inaccessibility of many areas.

Imran Zircon, the local head of this authority, said that paramilitary forces had been deployed to save hundreds of people in the Kan-he-Mohtarazi area.

In neighboring Afghanistan, said Ahmed Tamim Azimi, a spokesman for the Natural Disaster Management Authority. “Most of the damage occurred after the house roofs collapsed due to heavy snow and rain.” He added that “more than 300 homes in the eastern and western states.”

The most affected areas were the states of Kandahar, Helmand, Zabul and Herat.

In Herat, seven people, all members of the same family, including children, were killed when the roof of their house collapsed, Azimi added.

Usually, Afghanistan records a number of deaths in the harsh winter, as the country continues to suffer from poverty despite the influx of billions of aid from the international community.

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