Deadly avalanches

Following heavy snowfall in parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan in February, at least 120 people were killed by avalanches that destroyed or damaged dozens of homes. In the north-eastern Afghan province of Nuristan, bordering Pakistan, at least 45 people in one village perished under an avalanche. “In the village of Afsye, Bargematal district, 70 houses have been destroyed by the avalanches,” said Muhammad Mahab Khan, head of operations for the Afghan Red Crescent Society. Windstorms and frozen ground slowed rescue efforts and made building provisional shelters a challenge. Just weeks earlier, Italian Red Cross search-and-rescue teams battled dangerous conditions to bring 14 people to safety after a major avalanche engulfed a hotel in Italy’s Pescara province, killing six people.

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