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Avalanche buries village in northeast Afghanistan

Afghan rescue workers traveled in northeastern Afghanistan in January. A recent avalanche destroyed a village of 200 elsewhere in the mountainous north. STR/AFP/Getty Images

KABUL - Rescuers shoveled through deep snow Wednesday searching for victims of an avalanche that destroyed a village of 200 people in northeastern Afghanistan, authorities said. Forty-seven people have been confirmed dead.

“We hope that some people were inside their homes and are still alive,’’ said Shams Ul Rahman, the deputy governor of Badakhshan Province, where the avalanche occurred on Sunday night. “But if the snow was too heavy, they may all be dead.’’

The Defense Ministry was sending helicopters to Dasty village on Wednesday, Rahman said.

People from a nearby village were the first to reach the site. They were joined on Tuesday by rescue workers from Darwaz district, who walked for two days to reach the remote area.

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About 100 rescuers equipped only with shovels were digging through mounds of snow looking for anyone who might have survived, Rahman said.

The Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority said at least 47 people have been confirmed dead.

USAID plans to send supplies, such as tents and plastic sheeting, to the area through a partner in Tajikistan.