At least 38 people have been killed by an avalanche that buried a village in the remote Kohistan district in north-west Pakistan. Avalanches are common in the area, and heavy snow over the last fortnight has increased the danger.
Earlier this month, a series of avalanches struck the approach to the Salang tunnel in Afghanistan, burying more than two miles of road and killing at least 172 people. The Salang tunnel was the scene of a disastrous road crash in 1982 which cost the lives of up to 2,000 people. For more details, see A Disastrous History of the World.
The deadliest natural avalanche ever was probably the one that buried the town of Plurs in Switzerland in 1618, killing more than 2,400, but during World War One in the Tyrol, the Italian and Austrian armies each deliberately set off avalanches with explosives, and during one period of 48 hours, 10,000 soldiers were killed.
I mentioned in my blog of Feb 6 that my world disasters book has now been published in the United States as Disaster! My thanks to The Southern in Illinois which has written articles on the book:-