Snowfall, freezing weather claim 42 lives in Afghanistan, life paralyzed in Kabul

KABUL — At least 42 people have lost their lives and scores of others sustained injuries due to snowfall and freezing weather over the past three days across Afghanistan, local media and officials reported.

Heavy snowfall has also resulted in the closure of transport and road blockade in parts of the country and disrupted road connection between districts and provincial capitals.

Even the essential Salang Pass which links capital Kabul to eight northern provinces has remained closed over the past couple of days due to snowfall and avalanches.

To tackle the problem and avoid more snow-related casualties, the government announced Sunday as public holiday.

The snowfall has also partially paralyzed the life in Kabul on Sunday as the streets are deserted and many shops are closed.

Kabul Municipality has called upon drivers to follow all the traffic rule and regulations on snowy days.

Although, there is no report on loss of life and property damage in Kabul, continued snowfall and chilly weather has added to the suffering of poor families as the prices of basic needs include wood which is used in warming houses have gone up.

Snowfall has also hampered the outgoing and incoming flights at Kabul airport on Sunday, according to passengers.

In the northern Badakhshan province, according to local media reports, 18 people have lost their lives and 21 others injured.

Five more people have fallen victim to freezing climate in the northern Saripul province over the past three days, a local official Aziz Rahman Aymaq said.

Heavy snowfall, chilly weather and avalanches have killed 16 people in Siagurd and Surkhparsa district of the eastern Parwan province, according to local officials.

Countless houses, according to Hasan Reza Yusufi, a member of eastern Ghazni province, have been destroyed due to snowfall in the province.

At least three people, according to locals, have lost their lives in the central Ghor province.

However, the Natural Disaster Management Authority has yet to release any statement on the number of snow-related casualties.

Meanwhile, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, in a meeting with cabinet ministers on Saturday night, directed concerned ministries and government entities to get ready to handle with the untoward situations arising of heavy snow and to deliver aid to the needy people in the country. PNA/