World

Dozens feared dead in Afghanistan avalanche after heavy snow

  • Afghan children looks on in a village close to an avalanche site in Panjshir province north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. Avalanches caused by a heavy winter snow killed at least 124 people in northeastern Afghanistan, an emergency official said Wednesday, as rescuers clawed through debris with their hands to save those buried beneath. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

    Afghan children looks on in a village close to an avalanche site in Panjshir province north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. Avalanches caused by a heavy winter snow killed at least 124 people in northeastern Afghanistan, an emergency official said Wednesday, as rescuers clawed through debris with their hands to save those buried beneath. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)  (The Associated Press)

  • An avalanche survivor man lies on a bed at Emergency Hospital in Panjshir province north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. Avalanches caused by a heavy winter snow killed at least 124 people in northeastern Afghanistan, an emergency official said Wednesday, as rescuers clawed through debris with their hands to save those buried beneath. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

    An avalanche survivor man lies on a bed at Emergency Hospital in Panjshir province north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. Avalanches caused by a heavy winter snow killed at least 124 people in northeastern Afghanistan, an emergency official said Wednesday, as rescuers clawed through debris with their hands to save those buried beneath. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)  (The Associated Press)

An Afghan official says dozens of people are feared dead in an avalanche that buried some 60 homes in the northeastern Panjshir Valley.

Acting Gov. Abdul Rahman Kabiri said at least 30 people were killed and that rescuers were using their bare hands and shovels to try to reach survivors.

Emergency officials could not immediately be reached to confirm the toll, which is expected to rise.

Large swathes of Afghanistan have been covered in snow over the past 24 hours as a major storm has interrupted an otherwise mild and dry winter. Avalanches are common in Afghanistan's mountainous north.