Afghanistan: Nuristan Avalanche Flash Update (as of 6 February 2017)



  • An avalanche in the early hours of 5 February 2017 is believed to have killed 50 people and injured 13 in Barg-e-Matal in Nuristan Province, with at least 70 houses initially reported as destroyed.

  • Another avalanche in Dawz Bala in Badakhshan province is reported to have killed 10 people and injured 12.

  • Further casualties related to extreme weather conditions have also been reported elsewhere in the country, and OCHA is working with partners to assess the information.

  • The snowfall has resulted in road blockages and the affected areas are remote and very hard to access.

  • In Nuristan, the government has already deployed helicopters and snow clearance teams to the avalanche site, with search and rescue teams set to be deployed soon alongside deliveries of emergency lifesaving supplies. Health INGO IMC have deployed medical teams. ANDMA plans to advise by the early afternoon of 6 February of gaps and assistance requested.

  • OCHA is closely coordinating with OCTs, IOM, PDMC leads and ANDMA to triangulate information, strengthen assessment and response.

Avalanches / Snowfall


  • Multiple credible sources report an avalanche on 05 February 2017 at 0100 hours claimed at least 50 lives in Afsay Village, Barg-e-Matal District (Nuristan Province), with at least 13 injured. Early indications are that the death toll may rise.

  • At least 70 houses were also reported as destroyed.

  • The area impacted by the avalanche is remote and due to heavy snowfall is hard to access, with snow depth currently at 2.5 metres. Much of the province is affected by the snowfall.

  • The provincial governor has appealed for support to respond. The district authorities have been requested to clear the route and as of 6 February, government helicopters and snow clearance teams were reported to be enroute to the site.

  • Another avalanche also hit a market at Madina in Parun, Nuristan. Initial information is that one person was killed and three injured. In addition, 13 houses and 15 shops were destroyed, in addition to livestock and vehicles.


  • An avalanche on 5 February 2017 at 0100 hours in Dawaz Bala in Badakhshan province is reported to have killed 10 people and injured 12, in addition to four avalanches on 30 January in Raghistan district, which reportedly killed one person and destroyed some homes.

  • In addition, four people were reported to have died enroute to hospital from Yawan district to Fayzabad, with three others trapped by avalanches rescued by the local community.

  • Much of Badakhshan is inaccessible (in line with seasonal trends) due to heavy snowfall and in some cases NSAG presence in the area.


  • ANDMA reports 172 families have been affected by rain/snowfall across the province since 4 February 2017.

  • Major roads, including those to Nuristan, are reported as blocked since 4 February.

  • The districts affected are Dara-e-Pech, Watapur, Chapa Dara, Ghazi Abad, Narai, Dangam, Nurgal, Chawkay,
    Sarkano, Shigal, Khas Kunar, Asmar, Narang, Asadabad and Marawara.

  • One child was reportedly killed and two injured, with 45 houses have been reportedly destroyed in various districts. 50 livestock were also reported killed.

  • IDPs and returnees residing in Jalalabad City Ring road have reported suspected cases of acute respiratory infections and requested health services.


  • ANDMA reports heavy snowfall (150 – 200 centimeters) has blocked several roads in the province.

  • There has been no further reports of casualties or damage as yet.


  • One avalanche reported in Surkh-Parsa district, with seven people reportedly killed and nine injured, and 35 houses damaged/destroyed.


  • Two avalanches reported in Miramoor and Khidir districts, destroying five houses with no casualties reported.


  • Three avalanches reported in Yakawang (one) and Punjab (two), destroying seven houses, with no casualties reported.


  • Heavy snowfall recorded in Turowo district, injuring nine people and damaging five houses, and injuring six people in Wormamy district.


  • Heavy snowfall recorded throughout the province, with the districts of Alikhail (Jaji), Chamkni and Dandwapatan having been cut off from the provincial centre of Gardez and currently without communications.


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