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Central, South Asia gripped by bitter cold
KABUL, Afghanistan, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Bitter cold and heavy snow have gripped vast areas from Iran through Central Asia to Pakistan, killing dozens of people and leaving thousands shivering.
Eight people froze to death in Iran after being trapped in their cars, while tens of thousands of other motorists had to be rescued from their vehicles, the BBC reported. Many living in desert areas of Iran experienced snowfall for the first time in their lives.
Frigid temperatures were also reported in Central Asian nations.
In Kyrgyzstan, the government blamed the weather for the deaths of at least 50 homeless people since the start of the year.
In some areas of Tajikistan, temperatures plummeted to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Electricity has already been cut to about four hours day as the country faces reduced energy exports from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, the report said.
In Afghanistan, five people died in an avalanche in the western province of Ghor, while eight members of a family were killed in neighboring Herat when a roof collapsed under the weight of heavy snow.
Heavy snow also has disrupted life in northwestern Pakistan, where seven soldiers died in an avalanche, the report said.
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