300 die due to freezing weather in Afghanistan
Deutsche Presse Agentur / January 29, 2008
Kabul_(dpa) _ The number of people killed in heavy snowfall, avalanches and freezing weather around Afghanistan in the past month has increased up to 300, official said Tuesday.
According to the Afghanistan National Disasters Management Authority (ANDMA), 25 provinces have been affected while the western province of Herat, with 137 weather-related fatalities, was the hardest hit.
In the neighboring provinces of Farah, Badghis and Ghor about 125 people have died and many others have become sick because of the cold.
The ANDMA said more than 83,000 farm animals have died over the past month due to the cold weather.
Local authorities in northern Badakhshan, Takhar and nearby provinces reported that dozens of people had died due to harsh winter.
According to Afghan authorities, the country is experiencing one of its harshest winters in many years.
On February 22, Afghan Health Minister Mohammad Amin Fatemi confirmed the death of 180 young children because of respiratory infections, whooping cough and pneumonia.
“In the last month and a half, 180 children under the age of 5 have died and 29 of our 1/8citizens 3/8 have lost their lives because of avalanches and other natural accidents,” he said.
Ebadullah Ebadi, the World Food Program (WFP) spokesman in Afghanistan, told local media that so far the deaths of 211 Afghans, mostly children, have been confirmed.
“As we don’t have access to remote regions, we can’t exactly say if the casualty figures are higher than this or not,” he added.