Death toll at 196 from Afghanistan avalanches

Story highlights

  • Authorities fear the toll from deadly avalanche will grow higher
  • Panjshir is a small, mountainous province in Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN)For almost a week, avalanches caused by heavy snowstorms have killed 196 people in the mountainous province of Panjshir, Afghanistan, officials said on Monday.

Deadly avalanche strikes Afghanistan
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Deadly avalanche strikes Afghanistan 01:36
Ten new avalanches were reported early Monday morning, without any casualties. Over the weekend, a total of 40 avalanches hit the area, said Bab Jan Hakimi, head of disaster response at the Afghan Red Crescent Society.
Rescue operations and emergency assistance by air and ground are still ongoing, Hakimi said.
However, authorities fear the toll will grow much higher since rescue personnel have yet to reach the worst affected areas.
President Ashraf Ghani, who visited the area on Saturday, declared three days of mourning in Afghanistan for the victims.
Panjshir is a small, mountainous province north of the capital, Kabul. Its residents are generally poor, earning their living as farmers, shepherds or operators of small businesses such as groceries.