Severe winter weather, avalanches in Pakistan, Afghanistan kill 70 more people
The death toll continued to climb Tuesday in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and neighboring Afghanistan after severe winter weather combined with a harsh cold snap led to numerous avalanches across the region.
The impact was most severe in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, where 55 deaths were reported in a 24-hour period, according to Waseem Uddin, a spokesman for Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority.
Among those, 41 died in a single avalanche in the Neelum Valley while 14 people died elsewhere in the region, Uddin told The Associated Press.
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In neighboring India, at least 10 people were killed after several avalanches hit the northern part of Indian-administered Kashmir, Reuters reported.
A state of emergency has been declared in Kashmir as officials work to reach the remote villages affected by the latest avalanches.
Avalanches are common in Kashmir, which is divided between Pakistan and India and is claimed by both.
“Rescuers are facing difficulties in reaching the stricken villages," Ahmad Raza Qadri, the minister for the disaster management authority in Kashmir, said Tuesday.
The latest deaths in Afghanistan and Pakistan raise the two countries' overall death toll from the severe weather to 126 since Sunday.
SEVERE WINTER WEATHER, EXTREME COLD KILL AT LEAST 54 IN AFGHANISTAN, PAKISTAN
The severe winter weather combined with bitterly cold temperatures have led to highways blocked due to heavy snow, forcing officials to suspend transportation of essential goods into Afghanistan. Military helicopters are being deployed to help evacuate ...
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