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Search for survivors after deadly avalanches hit Tajikistan

Rescuers in Tajikistan are searching for survivors after a series of avalanches hit the mountainous eastern region, killing at least 17 people.

Officials say the town of Khorog, the capital of the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous region, has been worst hit.

Dozens of houses are buried under snow, and some are completely destroyed.

Most of the impoverished Central Asian nation is covered by high mountains of the Pamir range, and avalanches and rockfalls are a constant hazard.

Local officials say 13 people were killed in Khorog and another four elsewhere in the region since the avalanches began earlier this week.

A number of people have been injured.

Two female students are reported missing in the Ishkoshim area.

Footage has emerged from one area, showing rescue teams pulling a child from a collapsed house. Crowds nearby are seen digging through the deep snow in the hope of finding more survivors.

Many local residents have been evacuated to safer areas.

The avalanches have also made many roads impassable in the region that borders China and Afghanistan.

In just one day on Thursday, the authorities reported 69 avalanches.

They warn that there is a risk of more in the next few days.

source: bbc