World

Afghanistan death toll in avalanches, flooding rising as conditions hamper rescue efforts

  • An Afghan villager cleans off snow after the rooftop of his home was damaged from an avalanche, in the Khanj district of Panjshir province, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. The number of people killed in a massive avalanche in a mountain-bound valley in northeastern Afghanistan rose on Thursday to more than 160 as lack of equipment and the sheer depth of snow that buried entire homes and families hampered rescue efforts. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

    An Afghan villager cleans off snow after the rooftop of his home was damaged from an avalanche, in the Khanj district of Panjshir province, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. The number of people killed in a massive avalanche in a mountain-bound valley in northeastern Afghanistan rose on Thursday to more than 160 as lack of equipment and the sheer depth of snow that buried entire homes and families hampered rescue efforts. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)  (The Associated Press)

  • Survivors wait to receive food donations near the site of an avalanche in the Paryan district of Panjshir province, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. The death toll from severe weather that caused avalanches and flooding across much of Afghanistan has jumped to more than 200 people, and the number is expected to climb with cold weather and difficult conditions hampering rescue efforts, relief workers and U.N. officials said Friday. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

    Survivors wait to receive food donations near the site of an avalanche in the Paryan district of Panjshir province, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. The death toll from severe weather that caused avalanches and flooding across much of Afghanistan has jumped to more than 200 people, and the number is expected to climb with cold weather and difficult conditions hampering rescue efforts, relief workers and U.N. officials said Friday. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)  (The Associated Press)

  • A house is covered with snow from an avalanche in the Paryan district of Panjshir province, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. The death toll from severe weather that caused avalanches and flooding across much of Afghanistan has jumped to more than 200 people, and the number is expected to climb with cold weather and difficult conditions hampering rescue efforts, relief workers and U.N. officials said Friday. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

    A house is covered with snow from an avalanche in the Paryan district of Panjshir province, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. The death toll from severe weather that caused avalanches and flooding across much of Afghanistan has jumped to more than 200 people, and the number is expected to climb with cold weather and difficult conditions hampering rescue efforts, relief workers and U.N. officials said Friday. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)  (The Associated Press)

Afghan officials say that severe conditions and lack of machinery are hampering efforts to reach people trapped, injured or dead after avalanches and flooding across large swaths of the country.

Mohammad Aslam Syas, deputy chief of the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority, says soldiers are distributing relief supplies Friday to people in areas unreachable by road.

He says that 165 people are known to have died in Panjshir province, 100 kilometers (60 miles) northeast of the capital Kabul, when avalanches buried homes in the Panjshir valley.

"Helicopters are dropping medicines, blankets and other necessary item to remote areas of the Panjshir, where the roads remain impassable because of the heavy snow," he said.

Casualties are expected to climb as agencies reach remote avalanche and flood-hit areas.