Official says avalanches in Afghanistan kill 21 people

Official says avalanches in Afghanistan kill 21 people

KABUL: A series of avalanches struck a central province in Afghanistan the previous day, killing a minimum of 21 people, authorities said Friday.

According to Ahmad Tameem Azimi, spokesman of the ministry for disaster management, seven people remain missing following the avalanches in central Daykundi province on Thursday while 10 were injured.

The 21 killed were all from two families within the area, Azimi said.

At least 50 houses were destroyed. Azimi added that search and rescue teams are working since Thursday to seek out the missing and help the victims.

He said the amount of dead was expected to climb with weather and difficult conditions hampering rescue efforts.

Most highways are closed for weeks, thanks to heavy snowfall and fears of avalanches. This winter in Afghanistan has been harsh, with heavy snowfall, avalanches and flash flooding.

Thursday's deaths bring the price from avalanches and flash floods within the country within the past two months to 72.

Scores have also been injured and a couple of ,400 houses are caught in a frenzy in flash floods since the beginning of winter.

Afghanistan has suffered through quite four decades of war and conflict since the Soviet invasion in 1979.

But natural disasters like landslides, floods and avalanches have also taken an important toll on a rustic with little infrastructure or development outside of its major cities. Environmental degradation has also worsened the issues .