85 Die in Afghanistan Avalanches After Heavy Snow in Panjshir Valley

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KABUL, Afghanistan — At least 85 people have died in a series of avalanches caused by heavy snowfall in northeastern Afghanistan, an official told NBC News Wednesday. Abdul Rahman Kabiri, the governor for Panjshir province, said that "many more" people were still missing after two days of heavy snowfall in the area.

"The roads are closed and many villages are disconnected," Kabiri said. "There have been several big avalanches across the valley and in parts of the valley it snowed one meter." Local authorities had "very limited resources" to deal with the situation, Kabiri added, saying that he had called on the central government for help and been "assured that the needed machinery and rescue teams will get to us soon."

He said the situation remained "precarious" because of the lingering possibility of more avalanches.

"The toll could rise as we are still getting reports of new incidents," he said.


— Fazul Rahim