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Heavy snowfall, avalanches leave 21 dead, 7 missing in Afghanistan (UPDATE)

snow
The collapse of mud houses in remote mountainous Daikundi province caused deaths, six from single family

Heavy snow and avalanches claimed at least 15 lives, including six people of a single family in Afghanistan, an official confirmed on Thursday.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Assadullah Sarwari, regional head of the Afghanistan Disasters Management Authority in central Daikundi province said, avalanches have caused death and destruction in the past 24 hours.

He confirmed the death of 15 people, including six members of a single-family. "Among the victims included two pregnant women who died because of their inability to reach to hospital for the delivery", he said.

Comment: Update: News18 reports on Feb 14th:
At least 21 people were killed after a series of avalanches struck a central province in Afghanistan, authorities said Friday.

According to Ahmad Tameem Azimi, spokesman of the ministry for disaster management, seven people remain missing following the avalanches in central Daykundi province on Thursday. Ten people have been injured.

The 21 killed were all from two families in the area, Azimi said. At least 50 houses were destroyed. Azimi added that search and rescue teams have been working since Thursday to find the missing and help the victims.

He said the number of dead was expected to climb with cold weather and difficult conditions hampering rescue efforts. Most highways have been closed for weeks, due to heavy snowfall and fears of avalanches.

This winter in Afghanistan has been harsh, with heavy snowfall, avalanches and flash flooding. Thursday's deaths bring the death toll from avalanches and flash floods in the country in the past two months to 72.

Scores have also been injured and 2,400 houses have been swept away in flash floods since the start of winter. Afghanistan has suffered through more than four decades of war and conflict since the Soviet invasion in 1979.

But natural disasters such as landslides, floods and avalanches have also taken a heavy toll on a country with little infrastructure or development outside of its major cities. Environmental degradation has also worsened the problems.



Snowflake

Flake news: Big snow at Showdown, Montana - 28 inches in 24 hours

snowfall
Showdown Montana reported on Wednesday that it received 28" of snowfall in the last 24 hours.

Showdown said in an email that "it was all hands on deck at Showdown today for snow removal, with almost all employees dredging waist deep in powder all morning."

They have received 238" of snowfall so far this season.

Showdown is open Wednesdays - Sundays; closing day this season is scheduled for April 5.


Snowflake

Snow pack in Shuswap, British Columbia reached 130% of normal by end of January

Snow pack
Flooding may be in the future as snow continues to accumulate to historic levels

Snow packs in the mountains of the Shuswap are well above normal for this time of year and have reached levels that might herald spring flooding.

According to a Feb. 1 report published by the BC River Forecast Centre, snow pack in the South Thompson basin which includes the Shuswap is at 130 per cent of normal levels. The Okanagan and Boundary basins to the south also have deep snow packs; they sit at 129 and 128 per cent respectively.

Snowflake

Heavy snowfall in Iran cuts off water and electricity for several areas

snow iran
Currently the water in 4 villages of Gilan province has been cut off due to heavy snowfall, and the electricity and landline of some households in Guilan are still cut off.

Additionally, Guilan residents and many travelers have had problems on the roads leading to the province.

Gilan Provincial Crisis Director General said heavy snowfall and heavy snowstorms have stopped traffic on Saravan highway for 2km.


Snowflake Cold

Record-breaking cold spell grips eastern Turkey

A snow ambulance carrying a pregnant woman to a hospital travels on a village road in Turkey
© AA Photo
A snow ambulance carrying a pregnant woman to a hospital travels on a village road in Turkey Feb. 9, 2020.
Winter takes its toll in Turkey's eastern regions which are usually the coldest parts of the country during the season. Yet, temperatures broke another record in 2020: Residents of Göle, a small town in the northeastern Ardahan province saw temperatures drop to minus 40 degrees on Sunday night. Göle had the unenviable record last year as well, at minus 32.5 degrees.

Freezing temperatures, accompanied by snowfall and blizzards, also cut off access to critical locations like an area in Van province's Çaldıran district where 13 migrants are believed missing. Search and rescue crews are already blocked by piles of snow in Van's Bahçesaray where 41 people were killed last week while one person is still missing due to two avalanches.


Van Governor Mehmet Emin Bilmez says crews can only work in the area once the weather improves, noting another road connecting Van to its Çatak district was already closed due to avalanche risk. Bilmez told İhlas News Agency (İHA) on Monday that they received a tip-off that 13 illegal migrants died in a remote area of Çaldıran, near the border with Iran, but the area was inaccessible. "We had phone calls (from relatives of migrants) from Iran, Germany and (the Turkish city of) Diyarbakır, and these people are believed to have been frozen to death while crossing the border. Even if crews can reach the area, they cannot recover anyone because of storms and blizzards. The visibility is zero now," he said.

Bilmez said the only way to clear the roads and reach any stranded persons was for the blizzards to end. "Unfortunately, such cases of migrant deaths happen in the region. Last year, we found about 100 bodies and only after the snow thawed," he said. The governor says that although they were able to clear the snowed road, blizzards led to their closure almost as soon as the road was cleared. He also warns against the risk of avalanche, especially in Çatak district and urged the public in rural areas not to leave for towns or central Van.

Snowflake Cold

Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Record food prices China, summer snow Australia and dragon clouds

'Dragon head' in cyclone over Iceland
© YouTube/Adapt 2030 (screen capture)
Crop losses and supply chain bottlenecks have driven up food prices in both China and Australia. China experiencing the highest food prices on record, and surprise summer snow hits Tasmania. Vegetable prices were surging in Australia because of the earlier bush fires. What appears to be a dragon head appears out of the cyclone blasting Iceland.


Comment: Temperature extremes: From a blistering 40C to summer snow at -1C in 24 hours for Tasmania, Australia


Snowflake

Huge snowfalls in the Rockies - up to 5 feet in 4 days

Alta ski
There have been some huge snowfalls in Colorado and Utah over the past four days.

Accumulations of up to 1.5 metres (five feet) have been reported with Alta (pictured) and Snowbird in Utah big winners. Breckenridge and Loveland in Colorado also reported over 1.2 metre (four foot) powder accumulations. Most other resorts in the two states have had at least 50cm/20 inches of snowfall and many a lot more.


Snowflake

Ultra-rare snow carpets Baghdad - only its second snowfall in a century

Ultra-rare snowfall carpets Baghdad

Ultra-rare snowfall carpets Baghdad
Residents of Baghdad rushed to have snowball fights or take photographs Tuesday as the Iraqi capital woke carpeted in white by only its second snowfall in a century.

The last recorded snowfall in the city was in 2008, but it was a quick and mostly slushy affair -- and prior to that, it had been a century since Baghdad saw any flakes. Iraqis young and old said it was the first time they had ever seen snow falling in Baghdad.

The city''s iconic palm trees were daintily outlined in white, and the tarpaulins of the long-running anti-government protest camp in Tahrir Square in the city centre were sprinkled with snow.

People on their way to work stopped their cars to snap pictures or break out into impromptu snowball fights.


Snowflake

Fresh snow reaches mid-level of Hawaii mountain

Mauna Loa summit
© USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
Mauna Loa summit
Maunakea and Mauna Loa got a fresh dusting of snow and ice overnight, and webcams show the frozen precipitation reached as far down as the mid-level area.

A light layer of snow could be seen at the "MK Visitor Center" cam at Halepohaku, commonly referred to as the Mid-Level area. The spot, located at the 9,300 ft elevation of the 13,800 ft. mountain, is usually without snow even when the summit gets covered.

Maunakea could not be seen from the Mauna Loa Observatory webcam at 1 p.m., but the lava in the foreground had a scattered dusting of snow as well. The observatory is located at just over 11,000 ft.


Attention

Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Supply chain disruptions will explain away food shortages

Chinese container ship
© MarineTraffic.com/Elbwasser
Supply chains and container goods moving across the world's oceans are beginning to stall. 80% of goods delivered globally are delivered by sea, and of that Asia has 80% of the globe's largest container ports. Container traffic is down 23% in just three weeks. So ask yourself what is delivered via Asian routes to your stores. Record cloudiest days in Russia, Record cold San Diego and Record snow Newfoundland, Canada.


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