Afghanistan faces humanitarian emergency after avalanche

2015-02-26 12:07
A soldier helps move snow after a massive avalanche hit Afghanistan. (Shakir Azizi, Twitter)

A soldier helps move snow after a massive avalanche hit Afghanistan. (Shakir Azizi, Twitter)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kabul - More than 180 people have been killed in north Afghanistan in some of the worst avalanches there for 30 years, officials said on Thursday, with heavy snow set to last for two more days after an unusually dry winter led to fears of a drought.

Officials warned of an imminent humanitarian emergency in areas most severely hit by the bad weather, with snow sweeping through villages and blocking off roads.

"We haven't seen this much snow, or this many avalanches, for 30 years," said Abdul Rahman Kabiri, acting governor of the mountainous province of Panjshir, north of Kabul, where 186 people were killed and more than 100 injured in avalanches.

Despite bringing misery to so many people, the snow is vital for Afghanistan, where much of the rural population dependent on agriculture relies on snow melting in the mountains to sustain crops in the spring and summer.

Farming drives the troubled Afghan economy, with about three quarters of the people living in rural areas, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation estimated in 2004.

Irrigation is not extensive in Afghanistan, most of which is semi-arid, and aid efforts over the past decade or more have focused on trying to extend it, with mixed results.

Read more on:    afghanistan  |  natural disasters

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.