Archive for Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Avalanches, flooding kill 150 in mountains

April 3, 2007

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— Avalanches and floods triggered by heavy rains and spring snow melt have killed about 150 people in recent days in the mountains of central Asia, officials said Monday.

In Afghanistan, the death toll reached 88 Monday and officials said more than half of the country's provinces had flooded, said the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development.

The government has distributed tents, blankets and sandbags to people, but aid agencies were still trying to reach an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 people in remote areas, said Aleem Siddique, spokesman for the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, flooding and avalanches have killed more than 50 people in the past 10 days in northwestern Pakistan, near the border with Afghanistan. The toll includes 38 people who died in weekend avalanches, some of whose bodies were found Monday in the rubble of demolished homes in a remote village, police said.

And in Tajikistan, a woman and her seven children between the ages of 5 and 20 were killed Sunday by an avalanche that swallowed their home, officials said.

The destruction has been most widespread in Afghanistan, where residents say this year's spring rains are heavier than they have seen in years.

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