Afghanistan is no stranger to winter cold and snow. Much of the country is mountainous and the higher terrain is conducive to bitter cold winter temperatures and snow. Major snow storms are not common – but not terribly unusual either. On January 11, 2008, a massive winter storm blasted the country with a wind-wiped heavy snowfall. Dozens were killed by the heavy snow and freezing weather as snow blocked roads connecting remote areas to many of the cities and towns in the country. Around 35 employees of a construction company were trapped in an avalanche in Herat. The clean-up and resources from that avalanche and several others was problematic at best. The war-ravaged nation was still in the midst of bitter conflict and the ability to clean up the snowfall and protect against the cold was virtually impossible as those normal resources were consumed by the ongoing conflict – just another terrible by-product of war.
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