At least eight dead in Tibet avalanche; as cold snap kills 70 in Afghanistan

At least eight dead in Tibet avalanche; as cold snap kills 70 in Afghanistan

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Eight people were killed and multiple others remained missing late Wednesday after an avalanche struck a roadway in mountainous Tibet, municipal authorities said according to China’s state media.

Xinhua News Agency reported that the snowslide occurred at the exit of a tunnel on a highway leading from Nyingchi city in Medog County to Mainling County in southeastern Tibet.

Municipal officials in Nyingchi, at 3,040 metres (roughly 10,000 feet) above sea level, said the avalanche trapped people in their vehicles and that a rescue operation was underway for the missing, Xinhua reported.

It was not clear how many people might be missing from the incident, which occurred Tuesday evening.

China’s Ministry of Emergency Management sent a disaster response team Wednesday to Tibet and called for full-scale efforts in the rescue as well as the bid to verify how many people remained stranded, according to China’s Global Times newspaper.

Avalanches are not uncommon in the Himalayas. Last October at least 26 people died as a mountaineering expedition was caught in an avalanche on Mount Draupadi ka Danda-II in India’s northern state of Uttarakhand.

At least 70 killed by Afghanistan cold snap: official
Kabul (AFP) Jan 18, 2023 –
At least 70 people have died in a wave of freezing temperatures sweeping Afghanistan, officials said Wednesday, as extreme weather compounds a humanitarian crisis in the poverty-stricken nation.

Since January 10, the mercury has plunged in Kabul and several other provinces, with the central region of Ghor recording the lowest reading of -33C (-27F) over the weekend.

“This winter is by far the coldest in recent years,” Mohammad Nasim Muradi, the head of Afghanistan’s meteorology office, told AFP.

In the countryside, homeless families were seen warding off the cold by huddling around campfires, whilst in the snowy capital domestic coal heaters were fired up by the more fortunate.

“We expect the cold wave to continue for another week or more,” said Muradi.

The ministry of disaster management said 70 people and 70,000 cattle — a vital commodity in poorer sectors of Afghan society — died over the past eight days.

Several central and northern provinces saw roads blocked by heavy snowfall, according to images posted on social media.

This is the second winter since US-led forces withdrew and the Taliban swept into Kabul to replace the Washington-backed regime.

Since then, aid has dramatically declined and key national assets have been frozen by the US, leading to one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.

More than half of the country’s 38 million people are facing hunger this winter, and nearly four million children are suffering from malnutrition, according to aid agencies.

Last month, many NGOs still working in Afghanistan suspended their operations in protest over a Taliban government order banning women from working with humanitarian groups, except in the health sector.

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