45 Feared Trapped in Afghanistan Avalanche

Villagers search for survivors
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 12, 2012 9:13 AM CDT
45 Feared Trapped in Afghanistan Avalanche
This March 8, 2012 photo shows Afghan officials as they watch an Afghan military helicopter taking off in Rawanak, Shakay district, Afghanistan after an earlier avalanche.   (AP Photo/Deb Riechmann)

(Newser) – A second deadly avalanche has hit Afghanistan this month: Today's struck two remote villages in the northeast part of the country, and 45 people are feared trapped in the snow, authorities said. The avalanche hit the villages of Poshan and Ghadoor in Nuristan province."We are not sure how many died and how many survived," said a provincial spokesman. "There is no rescue team there yet." Avalanches are common in the mountainous northern provinces, but extremely heavy snowfall this year has resulted in more avalanches than normal.

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The spokesman said that nearby villagers were working to try to locate victims and survivors. "It's not enough," he said. "We are calling for more help." He said it is not possible to access the villages from Nuristan—that rescuers would have to go through neighboring Kunar or Laghman provinces to get to the area. At least 50 people died March 4 in an avalanche in Badakhshan province. (Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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