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Heavy Snowfall Claims 15 Lives, Leaves Dozens Injured in Afghanistan

March 2, 2024
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Kabul: Widespread heavy snowfall across several provinces in Afghanistan over the past three days has resulted in the tragic loss of 15 lives and injuries to nearly 30 individuals, TOLOnews reported.

Additionally, statistics obtained from Balkh and Faryab provinces by TOLOnews indicate a devastating impact on livestock, with nearly ten thousand animals perishing due to the recent snowfalls.

Abdul Qadir, a resident of Sar-e-Pul, expressed the prevailing anxiety among the population, stating, “The snow is ongoing and very heavy, and people are anxious as their livestock have suffered losses, many roads are blocked, and there is hardly any movement.”

Another resident, Amanullah, emphasised the urgent need for government assistance, especially for those affected by road blockages and the plight of hungry livestock.

In response to the crisis, Afghanistan has announced the formation of a committee comprising various ministries to address the damages, particularly to livestock owners. The authorities have allocated fifty million Afghanis to support livestock owners in the provinces of Balkh, Jawzjan, Badghis, Faryab, and Herat.

Misbahuddin Mustaeen, the Taliban-appointed spokesperson for the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock, highlighted the swift response of committees formed in all provinces. These committees are actively working to open blocked roads, distribute food and fodder to affected communities, and rescue those stranded in the aftermath of the heavy snowfall.

Erfanullah Sharafzoi, spokesperson for the Afghan Red Crescent Society, said that winter service workers have already provided assistance in provinces such as Badghis, Ghor, Farah, Kandahar, Helmand, Jawzjan, and Nuristan, reaching individuals affected by the recent snowfalls.

The severe snowfall has resulted in the closure of key transportation routes, including the Salang Pass and access to various provinces such as Ghor, Badghis, Ghazni, Herat, and Bamyan. Mohammad Ashraf Haqshenas, spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Works, confirmed the temporary blockage of these routes due to the heavy snowfall over the past two days.

Esmatullah Muradi, spokesperson for the provincial governor of Faryab, reported that heavy snowfall in the province led to road closures in most districts, leaving residents in remote areas stranded. Tragically, one person in the Chahar Sada district on the Turkmenistan border lost their life, TOLOnews reported.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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