Snow in Afghanistan
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Snow in Afghanistan

March 1, 2005

The most intense winter in decades has dumped over 3 meters of snow over Afghanistan, causing the deaths of over 500 people (mostly women and children) by avalanche, intensely cold weather, and illnesses like measles and whooping cough. This false-color Terra MODIS image from February 25, 2005, shows the intensely cold, snow-packed Hindu Kush in red, while lower elevations and clouds appear in blue/green and orange/white, respectively. 21 of Afghanistan's 25 mountain passes were completely snow-blocked from the storm that first started passing through more than ten days prior. Snow was so heavy in places that it crushed houses and buildings, and buried entire communities. Relief workers are struggling in the still-bad weather to bring aid and food to remote regions that were already suffering from food shortages. Even worse is the prospect of increased flood danger when all this snow starts melting in the coming months.

Countries shown in this image are Uzbekistan at upper left, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan along the top edge, Pakistan and India at lower right, Afghanistan at image center, and Iran at image left.

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