Avalanches kill at least 59 in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Posted at 2:13 PM, Feb 05, 2017

Heavy snowfall triggered a series of avalanches along the Afghan-Pakistani border on Sunday, killing at least 59 people in the two countries, officials say.

45 died and 11 were injured in northeastern Afghanistan's Barg-e-Matal district. Nuristan Province Governor Hafiz Abdul Qayum said the death toll may rise as more victims are discovered. The area is about 150 miles northeast of Afghanistan's capital, Kabul.

Across the border in northwest Pakistan, a mass of snow, ice and rocks plummeted upon five houses in the mountainous Sher Shal village in the district of Chitral.

The village's 14 dead include six women, six children and two men, Colonel Nizamuddin Shah told CNN affiliate Geo News.

Sheena Ayub Khan, spokesperson for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province's disaster management authority, told CNN that evacuation efforts are currently underway.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) will coordinate rescue efforts and arrange medical assistance, food and shelter for those affected.

Chitral is in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province, where flash floods killed at least 47 people and left 37 others injured in April.