The New York Times ran a story yesterday on the avalanche that tore through the small Afghan town of Sherin Nazim, in the country’s northeastern Badakhshan Province, which killed at least 50 people. The article asserts that the avalanche was no normal occurrence, but rather
…part of a pattern of extreme temperatures and heavier snowfall that has spread suffering and underscored the government’s continued failings despite a decade of outside assistance and billions of dollars in aid.
The piece goes on to highlight that the upcoming spring thaw in the region threatens a much greater disaster – flooding as a result of melting snow pack. This is a space to watch closely, particularly as Afghanistan moves into the spring season, a time of danger and uncertainty both in terms of environmental change, and expectations of an increase in insurgent attacks.