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Afghan Avalanche Death Toll During Past Week Rises To 46

Avalanches are an annual hazard in Afghanistan
Officials in Afghanistan say heavy snow and avalanches in the country's far northeast have killed at least 46 people during the past week.

Afghan Presdent Hamid Karzai has declared an emergency in the mountainous northeastern province of Badakhshan and promised a relief fund of $160,000.

A statement from Karzai's office on January 24 quoted provincial officials who updated the death toll and said 60 people have also been injured by recent avalanches.

Afghanistan's harsh winters and mountainous terrain make avalanches an annual hazard.

Last year, at least 171 people died in an avalanche at the Salang Pass -- the major highway route through the Hindu Kush mountains linking Kabul with the north of the country.

compiled from agency reports