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In neighbouring Pakistan, 13 people were killed in an avalanche in northern Pakistan, nine of them in the town of Chitral, with many believed to still be trapped in collapsed houses.

Afghan men make their way down a snow-covered street in Kabul on February 5, 2017.

Authorities said they expect the death toll to quickly escalate as numerous worst-hit areas have yet to be reached.

The heavy snowfalls also blocked scores of roads and a number of highways across the country, crippling both the lives of people and rescue operations.

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.

In 2015, deadly avalanches in northern Afghanistan killed hundreds and destroyed homes.

"Several dozens are still trapped, we are trying to rescue them", said Naweed Frotan, spokesman for the province.

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

Police and soldiers had to rescue around 250 cars and buses trapped by the snowstorm on the Kabul-Kandahar highway, said Jawid Salangi, a spokesman for Ghazni Province, where as much as 2 meters of new snow was reported.

The region has been hit by heavy snowfall that is 1.2m deep in some places.

Despite billions of dollars in aid after the collapse of the Taliban in 2001, Afghanistan remains among the world's poorest nations after decades of conflict.

The district of Parwan, which sits 115 kilometers northwest of the Afghan capital of Kabul, was the hardest hit area and has been proven very difficult to reach following the heavy snowfall.


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