Afghans: Report for duty
KABUL, January 14 (RIA Novosti) – Over 100 people have died due to freezing weather in various provinces of Afghanistan in the past few days, the country’s Ariana TV channel reported on Monday.
Continual heavy snowfall has cut off thousands of people living in isolated communities in the mountainous country, making deliveries of medicine and essential goods almost impossible. Several people have been killed in avalanches and accidents on the snow-covered roads.
Aghanistan’s Pajwok news agency said five children died of pneumonia in the Khamyak village in the northeastern province of Badakhshan, where snow drifts block roads for much of the winter. The local administration said the road to the village is currently closed, and that reports on the outbreak cannot be confirmed.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered for troops to be sent to Ghorian, the hardest-hit province, where over 50 people have died in avalanches and freezing temperatures. Convoys of trucks carrying 20 metric tons of food and medicine, along with road-cleaning vehicles, a disaster recovery team, and doctors have also been sent to the area.
Meteorologists predict further snowfall in the provinces of Heart, Badghis, Ghor, Kabul and Ghazni.
The northern part of neighboring Iran has also been hit by the region’s cold snap, exacerbated by gas supply shortages from Turkmenistan, which has cut exports to the Islamic Republic citing technical problems. At least 28 people have been died due to the severe cold and heavy snow.
Saudi Arabia has also been hit by temperatures well below zero and snow storms with freezing winds of up to 50 km/h (30mp/h). Some regions have experienced water shortages due to freezing pipes. The weather has also put a strain on farmers, with numerous livestock freezing to death.