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Massive avalanche kills 50 in single village in eastern Afghanistan

At least 150 homes have been destroyed and 50 people have been injured in various parts of the country.

The Salang highway connecting northern and central Afghanistan and crossing high mountains was also closed and will remain blocked until the snow is cleared from the main road, said police general Rajab Salangi, who oversees the area.

Mohammadi said a separate huge avalanche had nearly entirely covered another village in the area and rescue teams were trying to reach it despite deep snow and freezing weather.

Avalanches in Afghanistan and Pakistan have completely buried two villages and killed more than 100 people, the BBC reported Sunday.

The government declared Sunday, a normal working day in Afghanistan, a public holiday to deter non-essential travel and ensure schools were closed.

"We are trying to rescue them".

In eastern Afghanistan, more than 50 people have been confirmed dead while at least nine have been killed in Pakistan.

It is believed some 45 people have been killed in the Nuristan province alone.

In neighbouring Pakistan, at least 13 people have been killed after the northern district of Chitral was hit by a deluge of snow on Saturday.

Iceand snow shut Kabul airport.

Officials fear more people are trapped beneath the thick wall of snow.

One rescue worker died when an avalanche struck a checkpost near to the border with Afghanistan.

Due to timely early warning and awareness campaign most of the houses were already evacuated.

Each winter, heavy snowfall and avalanches kill scores of people in Afghanistan, where inadequate emergency equipment does not match the scope of natural disasters.

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