Severe weather in Afghanistan and Pakistan leaves dozens dead

By Associated Press reporter

Severe winter weather has struck parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan, leaving at least 43 people dead.

Authorities are struggling to clear and reopen major roads and evacuate people to safer places amid heavy snowfall, rains and flash floods

In Pakistan, where 25 people were reported to have died, much of the damage struck south-western Baluchistan province.

Imran Zarkon, chief of provincial disaster management, said 14 people had died there in the past 24 hours, mainly when roofs collapsed amid heavy snowfall.

Heavy snow has fallen in Pakistan (Arshad Butt/AP)

Heavy snowfall had forced the closure of many roads and some parts in the province were under six inches of snow.

Eleven people were killed in eastern Punjab province when their roofs caved in under strong rains, said Abdul Sattar, an official with the state-run emergency service.

In Afghanistan, at least 18 people, including women and children, died due to the severe weather, according to provincial officials.

They said most of the main roads in Afghanistan were closed due to heavy snowfall and fears of avalanches.

Of the Afghan casualties, eight people were killed in southern Kandahar province, said a spokesman for the provincial governor.

Seven people died in western Herat province, including five members of the same family, police said. Three people were killed in southern Helmand province.

Residents of the Afghan capital, Kabul, where temperatures dropped to -15C, abandoned driving and struggled to get to work on snow-covered roads.