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Avalanche-triggered landslides kill 25 in Afghanistan

Syed Azam

Locals are doing rescue work in the landslide-affected area. Photo – Reuters

25 people have been killed and eight injured in a landslide triggered by heavy snowfall in eastern Afghanistan’s Nuristan province.

The incident took place in Nakre village of Tatin Valley in Nuristan on Sunday (February 20) night.

Janan Sayek, spokesman for the country’s disaster management ministry, said on Monday that about 25 people were killed and eight injured in the landslide.

He also said that the number of dead may increase.

Most of Nuristan Province, bordering Pakistan, is mountainous forest. The province is located near the southern edge of the Hindu Kush mountain range. Landslides, avalanches and other natural disasters often occur here.

Rescue operations have been hampered by snow, provincial officials said.

Mohammad Nabi Adel, head of public works in the province, said, “Due to clouds and rain, the rescue helicopter could not land in Nuristan. One of the main roads in the province has been completely blocked due to snowfall. This has made the rescue operation difficult.”

Provincial Information and Culture Officer Jamiullah Hashimi said, “It is still snowing. Rescue operations are underway. The death toll may rise. An avalanche swept through Nakre village in Nuristan’s Tatin Valley overnight on Sunday. About 20 houses were destroyed or severely damaged.”

Snow has been late in most parts of Afghanistan this year. These areas usually experience severe cold weather at this time of the year.

Afghanistan, heavily dependent on agriculture, has seen very little rain this year. Farmers are forced to plant crops late.

Afghanistan is a country devastated by several decades of war and prone to natural disasters. It is one of the poorest countries in the world and is highly vulnerable to natural disasters related to climate change.

Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world. War-torn for decades, the country is prone to natural disasters and weather extremes due to climate change.

The South Asian country was once awash in humanitarian aid following the US-led occupation. But since the Taliban returned to power in mid-2021, funding in Afghanistan has declined.

In 2021, more than 60 people died in an incident of Harka Ban in the province. Earlier in 2017, another avalanche killed more than 50 people.

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