(FINNBAY) – Kabul, 9 February 2014. The National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) has said that recent snow-fall in Afghanistan killed 16 people, “At least hundreds of homes have been destroyed, they have lost their livestock and transportation routes have been closed,” ANDMA deputy head Mohammad Aslam Sayas said.
Local officials in Farah province have said that four people died, including children and women, in the Gulistan District after the most recent snow-fall. Another 12 people have lost their lives in the Darzab and Qoshtepa Districts of Jawozjan province, according to officials.
“We haven’t recorded this kind of snow for the past 35 years,” spokesman of the Farah Governor Ahmad Fawad Askari said to FINNBAY. “We are in a relief and rescue situation to support the victims, and financial institutions should come forward to help.”
Heavy snowdrifts have resulted in collapsed houses and car accidents.
Local officials have warned that if insufficient aid and relief is provided for the victims, their plight could get worse. Though the ANDMA has already begun sending provisions and emergency support to effected areas. Local officials have asked other humanitarian organizations as well to contribute in assisting victims.
Around the country, the heavy snowfall has resulted in route closures that have made getting aid for disaster relief to victims all the more difficult.
“Snow has closed down routes in various districts, including the ways toward Ajristan, Jaghori and Qara Bagh Districts,” Ghazni Provincial Council member Hamida Gulistani said.
“Four transportation routes have been closed in the country,” Deputy Minister of Public Works Ahmad Shah Wahid said.
The Salang Pass, which is one of the tallest passes in the world, just opened after a week of closure. However, more avalanches have been reported in the area recently so it could be shut again soon.