Severe winter weather has struck parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan, with heavy snowfall, rains and flash floods that left at least 48 people dead, officials said Monday as authorities struggled to clear and reopen highways and evacuate people to safer places.
At least 57 people have been killed and others are missing after avalanches in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir over the last 24 hours, government officials say.
Afghanistan is no stranger to extreme winter weather, during which various warring groups in the country have historically ceased hostilities, but this year has been particularly harsh, according to the country's metrological department.
One of the hardest-hit areas was southwestern Baluchistan province in Pakistan, where 25 people were reported killed.
Furthermore, the NDMA said 19 people have died in an avalanche while 10 others were still missing.
Afghan men upload recycle items on sacks during a snowfall in Kabul.
An Afghan boy selling corn waits for customers during a snowfall in Kabul.
Avalanches stranded many villagers in the region's Neelum Valley following heavy rain that also triggered landslides.
Across the border in Afghanistan, more than 300 houses were either destroyed or partially damaged throughout the country, said Ahmad Tamim Azimi a spokesman for the Natural Disaster Management Authority.
Moreover, snowfall blocked the highway from Mehtarzai to Zhob and several vehicles have stranded in the severe cold weather at the inter-provincial highway with dozens of passengers including women and children.
Balochistan on Sunday imposed emergency in 7 districts of Balochistan following continuous heavy rain and snowfall across the province, ARY News reported.
Officials told RFE/RL on January 12 that the victims were killed the previous day in Herat, Kandahar, and Helmand provinces amid heavy snowfall and low temperatures. As per the details, at least six persons of a family, including women and children, were killed in a roof collapse due to heavy snow that occurred in Shahab Zai area.
Harsh winters often take a heavy toll in mountainous Afghanistan, and the country remains poor despite billions of dollars in aid from the global community.