Crews working hard to clear Salang road
CHARIKAR (Pajhwok): Crews were working rigorously to clear the Salang Highway from snow after avalanches fears prompted authorities to close the strategic road that connects Kabul with northern Afghanistan, an official said.
Heavy snowfall that lashed northern provinces for a third day in a row triggered massive avalanches that killed nearly 200 people, with scores of others missing.
The Salang district of central Parwan province has been cut off by heavy snowing and snow-clearing operations to clear the Salang road entered a second day on Thursday, said Lt. Gen. Mohammad Rajab Ali, the Salang maintenance head.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News the snow-removing operations that started on Wednesday involved 11 teams of crews.
He said if the operations continued interrupted, the road near the Russian built tunnel would be cleared and traffic allowed movement over the next two days.
He asked drivers not to ply the route until the operations were over. “We’ll keep informed people about the progress in snow clearing through the media,” Rajab added.
Heavy snowstorm and avalanche in northern Salang had damaged three power cable lines traversing the tunnel, cutting power to much of Kabul since earlier this week.
Rajab Ali said snow had stopped falling on the road since last night and they had made an emergency lane to help electricity officials reach the damaged power lines.
He said they started using artillery guns on Thursday to trigger artificial avalanches. He said 330 centimeters of snow was measured in places in the area where temperature was recorded minus 17 degree Celsius, humidity 71 percent and visibility up to about five metres.
He said five power pylons had fallen to the ground after heavy snowing and the electricity team had reached the area.
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