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By Jeff Masters
Heavy snowfall in Afghanistan near the Pakistan border has triggered avalanches that have killed at least 137 people in recent days, The Guardian reported Monday. The death toll is expected to rise as rescuers reach remote areas where blocked roads and mountainous terrain were hampering rescue efforts.
Some villages in the worst-hit province of Nuristan, which received nearly 3m (10ft) of snow, have been cut off from communication. The latest Wunderground forecast for the region is calling for less than an inch of accumulating snow during the coming week, which should aid recovery efforts, fortunately.
Avalanches are common in Afghanistan's mountainous areas in winter. In February 2015, heavy snows triggered 40 avalanches in Panjshir Province in Afghanistan, killing at least 124 people, according to EM-DAT, the international disaster database. Insurance broker Aon Benfield put the death toll at 230.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Weather Underground.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
More than 1,000 miles of shoreline in Brazil are now contaminated by a mysterious oil spill. that has lasted for weeks as the country struggles to clean what may be its largest oil spill in history.
By Heather Cruickshank
Trillions of bacteria and other microbes live in the human digestive system. Together, they form a community that's known as the gut microbiota.
Many bacteria in the microbiota play important roles in human health, helping to metabolize food, strengthen intestinal integrity and protect against disease.
The Trump administration is rolling back protections for endangered California fish species, a move long sought by a group of wealthy farmers that Interior Secretary David Bernhardt continued to lobby for months before he began working for the administration, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
By Gretchen Goldman
The Independent Particulate Matter Review Panel has released their consensus recommendations to the EPA administrator on the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter. The group of 20 independent experts, that were disbanded by Administrator Wheeler last October and reconvened last week, hosted by the Union of Concerned Scientists, has now made clear that the current particulate pollution standards don't protect public health and welfare.