2/10/2014 12:25
RIA Novosti

World

Cold kills 1,300 in Afghanistan

15:50 27/02/2008
KABUL, February 27 (RIA Novosti) - Around 1,300 people have died as freezing weather continues to cause havoc in Afghanistan with heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures hitting 17 of the country's 34 provinces, local authorities said Wednesday.

This winter is the coldest in the last 30 years in war-torn Afghanistan, with temperatures reaching lows of -30 degrees Centigrade (-22 Fahrenheit). Some northern regions have been without food and medical supplies for over two months.

On February 20, the death toll since the cold struck in December had risen to over 1,100 with around 200 dying in the past week and hundreds losing their limbs from severe frostbite, the country's Ministry for Emergency Situations said.

More than half of the casualties have been reported in the western province of Heart, but with so many regions cut off it is hard to get a true picture of the devastation.

Local authorities in some most remote provinces said they have received no aid from the government.

The agriculture ministry reported over 316,000 cattle had died and with many farmers left with no fodder to feed their animals, they are being forced to sell their livestock, which is causing meat prices to plummet.

People in Afghanistan's northern provinces, stricken with hunger and cold, have apparently even taken to selling their children to buy food and fuel. At least six cases have been reported in the Baghlan province.

Aid workers have also reported being attacked by starving Afghan mountain dwellers.

Local meteorologists said over half of the country would be hit by severe flooding when the snow began melting.

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