Avalanche kills 25 in eastern Afghanistan

About 20 houses were destroyed in Nuristan province

Villagers carrying a body on their shoulders and snow-covered houses buried under the landslide. Reuters
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An avalanche killed 25 people in eastern Afghanistan, provincial officials said, after heavy snow fell across much of the country.

“It is still snowing. Rescue efforts are under way and the number of dead may increase,” Jamiullah Hashimi, Nuristan province's head of information and culture, told AFP.

The avalanche swept through the village of Nakre, in the province's Tatin valley, overnight on Sunday, burying homes under snow and rubble.

About 20 houses were destroyed or heavily damaged, Mr Hashimi said.

Eight people were initially reported to have been killed but disaster management officials revised the death toll to 25 in the early afternoon on Monday, and said it could rise again.

Bad weather has hindered rescue operations in the province, where helicopters were unable to land.

The main road to Nuristan province is blocked by snow, Mohammad Nabi Adel, the head of public works in Nuristan, told AFP.

Taliban authorities have sent more rescue teams to the area, according to local media.

Afghanistan is prone to natural disasters, including earthquakes, drought and avalanches.

Nuristan, which borders Pakistan, is also prone to flash flooding and landslides.

Twelve people were killed in an avalanche near the border with Pakistan in February 2022.

Updated: February 20, 2024, 3:56 AM