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    Accidents & Disasters

    Cold weather claims 21 lives in north

    TALOQN/AIBAK (PAN): Twenty-one people, most of them children, were killed and thousands of household animals perished as a result of the ongoing cold wave in northern Takhar and Samangan provinces, officials said on Monday.

    An Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) official said 15 children and an 80-year-old man died from severe cold in Takhar.

    Ahmad Javed Makhdumzada said seven children died in Baharak and the rest in Kalfgan districts.

    He added the society had been able so far to supply food and other materials for only 200 families. He said the supplies were inadequate to meet needs of families suffering from the cold weather.

    Governor Khairullah Anush, on the other hand, said a woman and two men severely wounded after they were trapped in snow in Rabatak area of Khurm-i-Sarbagh district. The wounded were taken to hospital for treatment, he said. The governor asked donor agencies for immediate assistance to residents of the province.

    Khuram Wa Sarbagh district Hafizullah chief told Pajhwok Afghan News one of three peoples trapped in snow died and the two sustained injuries in the Shorab village last week. The injured could not be taken to hospital for treatment despite being critical due to the blockade of roads, he said.

    About 31 villages in districts remain disconnected from district centers after heavy snowfall blocked roads last week, Hafizullah said.

    In Samangan, the agriculture and livestock department head, Noor Muhammad, told Pajhwok hundreds of cattle heads had perished from harsh weather conditions in various parts of the northern province.

    Reports say 12,000 animals died from cold, but local officials did not confirm the figures.

    Livestock owners say they ran out of animal feed.

    Kamaluddin, a resident of the Souf valley, said it was the 10th day his animals were without feed as all grazing lands had been covered by heavy snow. “My 160 animals died due to a lack of grass,” he said.

    Agriculture department officials say more than 100,000 animals out of 500,000 in the province faced severe shortage of grass.