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 Tuesday 18 December 2007
 
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AFGHANISTAN: Avalanche kills 13 in northeast


Photo: Zhulia Yaftali/IRIN
A house damaged by flooding in the Baharak district of Badakhshan. Between December 2006 and May 2007, flash floods and avalanches killed about 400 people, destroyed about 5,000 houses and affected over 45,000 families
DUBAI, 12 December 2007 (IRIN) - Thirteen people were killed by an avalanche in northeastern Afghanistan on 11 December and a further three are almost certainly also dead, according to the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA).

“Based on information provided by the chief of police in Baharak District [in Badakhshan Province] the bodies of five people have been recovered today and three more people are still under the snow. We fear they are dead,” Humayun Paikar from ANDMA told IRIN from Kabul on 12 December.

“Yesterday eight bodies were recovered, so the total likely number of deaths is 16. Four people have been injured and 15 were rescued alive on 11 December,” Paikar said.

Last year flash floods and avalanches killed about 400 people, destroyed about 5,000 houses and affected over 45,000 families between December 2006 and May 2007, according to ANDMA statistics.

Afghanistan is prone to various natural disasters. Earthquakes are frequent in the northern parts of the country and often trigger devastating landslides. Flooding and mudslides are common, particularly in the spring when the snow starts melting. Extreme winter conditions and avalanches are also a recurrent feature in mountainous areas that make up about 63 percent of the country, according to The Environment Times, a UN Environment Programme (UNEP) publication.

at/cb


Theme(s): (IRIN) Natural Disasters

[ENDS]

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
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This material comes to you via IRIN, the humanitarian news and analysis service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations or its Member States. Republication is subject to terms and conditions as set out in the IRIN copyright page.