Herat officials said Wednesday that due to heavy rain and snow, flights into and out of Herat have been cancelled and the Herat-Islam Qala, Herat-Torghondi and Herat-Kandahar highways have been closed.
According to officials hundreds of motorists and their passengers are stranded on the highways. Officials said government is doing everything it can to reopen the roads.
Extremely heavy rain, reportedly the most in over a decade, also caused floods in Herat city and some districts in the province.
Heavy snowfalls were also reported in the city Wednesday morning.
Abdul Hameed Mubariz, director of natural disaster management in West zone said that so far five people have died and seven others were injured due to floods in Herat province.
Three people died on the highways due to floods and two others died as a result of houses collapsing in the city, Mubariz added.
General Aminullah Amarkhail, Herat police Chief and Mohayuddin Noori the deputy governor along with public works department employees went to rescue passengers on the Herat-Islam Qala highway. Amarikhail warns that there might be casualties due to the lack of equipment to rescue motorists.
“At least 100 of our people and police vehicles who were stuck in the floods have been rescued but the number of casualties is not clear,” Amarkhail said on his facebook page.
Meanwhile, Abdul Basir Habibi, the highway maintenance commander, said that the Salang highway has been closed from Tuesday night due to heavy snowfalls and avalanches.
Habibi said that more than 70 cms of snow has fallen in the Salang Pass and due to ongoing snowstorms road clearance operations have stopped.
Habibi said it’s not clear yet when the pass will reopen.