Killer avalanche postpones Afghan president Iran visit

Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani

Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani

Kabul, March 1, IRNA – Afghanistan’s President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has postponed his state visit to neighboring Iran due to a fatal avalanche in his home country.

In a message issued Saturday night, he said he felt obliged to stay with his people at this sad time of disaster.

Death toll rose to over 280 with another 143 people injured following fall of an avalanche which affected several parts of Afghanistan. Most of the victims are in the northeastern province of Panjshir near the capital Kabul.

President Ghani announced three days of public mourning to express sympathy with the bereaved families of victims.

Afghanistan’s Natural Disaster Management Authority said hundreds of houses have been destroyed and damaged over the course of three days, starting from Sunday.

Rescue operations have been going on and humanitarian assistance has been dispatched to the area.

President Ghani also made a visit to Panjsher Province, one of the heavy hit areas by snow and ordered immediate assistance to the people affected.