First published: February 5, 2017, 6:53 PM IST | Updated: 6 mins ago
Residents navigate icy streets during a snowfall in Kabul, Afghanistan on Sunday, February 5, 2017. (AP Photo)
Kabul: At least 38 people have been killed over the course of three days in Afghanistan by avalanches caused by heavy snow, officials said on Sunday.
Omer Mohammadi, spokesman for the Afghan state minister for disaster management and humanitarian affairs, said that more than 20 others have been injured.
Mohammadi said that 22 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces have experienced heavy snow. Approximately 20 homes have been destroyed by avalanches and nearly 50 others heavily damaged.
Mohammad Aseem, provincial governor in northern Parwan province, said that 16 people were killed and eight others injured in avalanches in two districts. He said a team had been dispatched to affected areas but that many roads had been blocked by snow.
Naweed Frotan, spokesman for the provincial governor in Badakhshan province, said initial reports showed at least 18 people killed, but added that the numbers were expected to rise.
Mohammadi added that so far more than 550 animals have been killed and more than 1000 hectares of agricultural lands destroyed in the affected provinces.
On Sunday, the government declared a public holiday due to the heavy snowfall.