Severe weather kills 130 in Pakistan, Afghanistan

Clay Curtis
January 15, 2020

"Rescuers are facing difficulties in reaching the stricken villages", he said, Military helicopters were being used to evacuate people as authorities struggle to reopen highways and reach people cut off by heavy snowfall and avalanches in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Much of the damage by the storms was caused in Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province, where at least 20 people were killed in the past 24 hours because of roofs amid winter's unusual snowfall.

Authorities confirmed 55 people had been killed in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, while a further 15 died in neighboring Afghanistan. At least 10 people were still missing.

Pakistan-administered Kashmir declared a state of emergency for the affected areas on Tuesday morning, the minister for the disaster management authority in the area, Ahmad Raza Qadri, said.

Forecasts suggest more harsh weather is to come.

Frequent avalanches and landslides occur in Kashmir during the winter, often blocking roads and leaving communities isolated.

People walk on a road during heavy snow fall in Quetta, capital of Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province on January 12, 2020.

Director General Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) has said that the work has been underway to open the highway for traffic.

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According to The News, 23-inch snowfall was recorded in parts of Chitral district including Lowari Tunnel.

According to the National Disaster Management Authority, 41 people have been injured while 35 houses destroyed in the country due to inclement weather conditions.

QUETTA: Emergency was imposed in seven districts of Balochistan on Sunday after a spell of heavy rain and snowfall across the province.

Afghanistan's western province of Herat has also been hit badly.

Separately, a top official from Kashmir's civil administration said six people were killed after their house came under a massive snow avalanche in the northern part of the valley, which saw heavy snow in recent days.

Officials said army men and a paramilitary soldier died in two separate avalanches along the highly militarised border dividing the Himalayan territory between India and Pakistan.

Harsh winters often take a heavy toll in mountainous Afghanistan, and the country remains poor despite billions of dollars in aid from the global community.

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