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Avalanches triggered by heavy snowfall killed at least 119 people in Afghanistan

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At least 119 people were killed after heavy snowfall triggered avalanches in Afghanistan in recent days, officials said Monday. 

Wais Ahmad Barmak, state minister for disaster management and humanitarian affairs, said at least 89 others were injured and 190 homes were destroyed across multiple provinces. 

Those numbers are expected to increase as rescue teams continue to make their way to more areas hit by the avalanches. 

Avalanches triggered by heavy snowfall killed at least 119 people in Afghanistan

WATCH  | Here's a look at the aftermath of the avalanches in Afghanistan. 

The most recent fatalities from this natural disaster occurred in the Nuristan province, which is located near the Pakistani border. 

Rescue teams have recovered 48 bodies so far from two villages that were buried in snow, according to Barmak's spokesman, Omer Mohammadi. 

Mohammadi added that it would take a while to determine the extent of the damage. 


Afghanistan's government declared a public holiday Sunday because of the heavy snowfall across the country. 

Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, offered to assist in any way possible.

This will take days for us to clean up all roads covered with snow in different provinces.
Omer Mohammadi

The United Nations has also offered its assistance. 


"I commend the efforts of the Afghan government that has quickly mobilized to respond to the disaster," said Mark Bowden, U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Afghanistan. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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