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Landslide Kills and Injures Dozens in Eastern Afghanistan

NURISTAN, AFGHANISTAN – A landslide, caused by heavy snowfall, has killed at least 25 people, including women and children, and injured dozens more in the eastern province of Nuristan, as reported by Taliban officials.

According to Samiulhaq Bayan, the Taliban Director of Information and Culture in Nuristan province, the devastating natural disaster occurred in Tatin valley in Nurgaram district of the province late on Sunday, February 18th.

Local residents report that the number of casualties could be higher as rescue operations continue.

“Around 20 houses were destroyed or heavily damaged Due to clouds and rain, the helicopter cannot land in Nuristan,” Mohammad Nabi Adel, the head of public works in the province told reporters, adding that snow had blocked one of the main roads into the province, making “the rescue operation difficult,” he added.

According to Mawlawi Gawohar, the Taliban’s deputy governor for the province, at least 25 people are still missing, and a rescue operation is ongoing to locate the missing individuals.

Bordering Pakistan, Nuristan province is mostly covered by mountainous forests and lies at the southern end of the Hindu Kush Mountain range. This year, despite the country being accustomed to harsh winters, the arrival of snow in Afghanistan was delayed.

The unusually delayed and low rainfall in a country heavily dependent on agriculture and livestock has compelled farmers throughout Afghanistan to delay planting. Farmers are worried about their crops in the upcoming solar year due to the insufficient levels of snow and rain.

Since the last two days, parts of Afghanistan, including the capital city Kabul, have been experiencing rainfall and snowfall. The ongoing snowfall over the past two days has prompted the closure of many transportation routes across various provinces, exacerbating the country’s challenges.