Snowstorms leave scores dead in Afghanistan, Pakistan | News | DW | 13.01.2020
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Snowstorms leave scores dead in Afghanistan, Pakistan

Thousands more people were stranded after snow blocked roads across the region. Some airports also cancelled all flights.

Severe winter weather has hit parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan, leaving at least 43 people dead, blocking roads and forcing airports to cancel flights.

After snowstorms pummeled the region for over two days, authorities were struggling to reopen highways and continue evacuations. Several thousand people were also stranded in remote mountainous areas near the Afghan border, following road blockages caused by the snowfall.

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One of the hardest-hit areas was southwestern Baluchistan province in Pakistan, where 25 people were reported killed. Some parts of the province were also under six inches of snow.

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Many of the deaths were due to roofs collapsing amid heavy snowfall. Imran Zarkon, chief of provincial disaster management, told AP that 14 people had died over the course of 24 hours.

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Flight operations at an international airport in Quetta, the capital city of Baluchistan, have also been suspended due to the severe weather, Ismail Khosa, the spokesman for the Pakistani civil aviation authority, told DPA.

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Eleven people also died in Punjab province after their roofs caved in due to strong rains, officials reported. At least 18 people in Afghanistan also died due to the weather.

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Most of the highways in the country were also closed following heavy snowfall and possible avalanches. In Kabul, temperatures dropped to below -15 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit). 

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lc/rt (AP, dpa)

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