19 dead as heavy snow, rain hits Afghanistan

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Kabul: At least 19 people were killed and 16 others injured in the past 24 hours due to heavy snowfall and flash floods in the south and west of Afghanistan, an official said on Monday.

Heavy snowfall began on Saturday and was expected to continue in at least 21 of the country’s 34 provinces while the remaining regions can expect to be hit by heavy rains, particularly in the south, Tamim Azimi, a spokesman for the State Ministry for National Disaster Management told Efe news.

Eight people have died in southern Kandahar province after their roofs collapsed in flash floods, Bahir Ahmadi, spokesman for the local government said.

Among the dead were four women, three children and one man.

Another 13 villagers were injured and required evacuation to be treated in a Kandahar hospital.

The local government held an emergency meeting to discuss a humanitarian response in the region.

In a separate incident in neighbouring Helmand province, flash floods killed three villagers and injured three others, local officials said.

Officials in the western province of Herat said eight people had been killed in three separate cases of roof collapses as a result of heavy rains in Adraskan, Enjil and Shindand.

“All roads and highways between the capital city and some districts between Herat and other provinces are for now closed due to heavy snowfall,” Jailani Farhad, a spokesperson for the Herat governor told Efe.

Herat Police in a statement have asked citizens “to avoid unnecessary travels” as heavy snow has blocked the highways and roads, while police have been working to help and rescue those trapped on the highways.

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