At least 132 people have died along the Afghan-Pakistani border after three days of heavy snowfall caused a series of deadly avalanches Sunday.
Dozens of houses were destroyed and people were reported to have frozen to death, trapped in cars. Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul was closed on Sunday, after nearly 2 feet of snow covered the runways, and north of the capital, the Salang pass into the Hindu Kush mountains was reportedly buried under 7 feet of snow.
“Most affected are women and children,” he told Al Jazeera on Sunday. “The area is completely blocked because of snow so it is very difficult for us to send support, but we are trying our best.”
People also died in an avalanche on the other side of the border, in Pakistan. The BBC said at least 13 people there died, nine of them in the town of Chitral.
Al Jazeera reported that parts of the mountainous region received more than 5 feet of snow over the weekend, and that “scattered snowfall” was forecast for Monday in the Chitral valley.
The AFP reported that some hard-hit areas in Afghanistan were still not accessible on Monday:
“There had been no word yet from some villages in Nuristan, which Qayyom said had received nearly 10 feet of snow, with blocked roads and mountainous terrain hampering the rescue effort.