KABUL, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Heavy snowfall and chilly weather have claimed 170 lives including children and women in Afghanistan over the past three weeks, spokesman for the Ministry of Natural Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs Shafiullah Rahimi said on Sunday.
"A total of 170 people including children and women have lost their lives and 30 others including women and children injured due to chilly weather and snowfall in 24 out of the country's 34 provinces over the past three weeks," Rahimi told Xinhua.
More than 150 residential houses have been completely destroyed or partially damaged over the period, the official said, adding the continued freezing climate and snowfall have also killed about 80,000 cattle including cows, sheep and goats elsewhere in the country.
The official also called on aid agencies to provide humanitarian assistance to needy Afghan families in this critical stage and help them survive the freezing winter.
In the cash-strapped and war-ravaged Afghanistan where there is no central heating system, people often use coal, wood or liquid gas to keep themselves warm in winter, which in many cases claims human lives due to gas leakage or carbon monoxide emission.
Extreme chilly weather and snowfall have swept through parts of Afghanistan since the first week of January when the temperature fell down to minus 30 degrees Celsius in some areas. ■