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Men sitting in a truck full of emergency meals watch an Afghan Air Force Mi-17 helicopter take off from a field in Panjshir valley in central Afghanistan on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. Several days of heavy snow and avalanches left about 200 people dead across the country and thousands more stranded in remote villages.

Men sitting in a truck full of emergency meals watch an Afghan Air Force Mi-17 helicopter take off from a field in Panjshir valley in central Afghanistan on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. Several days of heavy snow and avalanches left about 200 people dead across the country and thousands more stranded in remote villages. (Josh Smith/Stars and Stripes)

Men sitting in a truck full of emergency meals watch an Afghan Air Force Mi-17 helicopter take off from a field in Panjshir valley in central Afghanistan on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. Several days of heavy snow and avalanches left about 200 people dead across the country and thousands more stranded in remote villages.

Men sitting in a truck full of emergency meals watch an Afghan Air Force Mi-17 helicopter take off from a field in Panjshir valley in central Afghanistan on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. Several days of heavy snow and avalanches left about 200 people dead across the country and thousands more stranded in remote villages. (Josh Smith/Stars and Stripes)

Afghan national policemen run toward an Afghan Air Force Mi-17 at a remote village in Panjshir province, Afghanistan, on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. Afghan security forces spent days helping search for bodies, evacuate wounded and resupply communities after heavy snowfall caused dozens of avalanches.

Afghan national policemen run toward an Afghan Air Force Mi-17 at a remote village in Panjshir province, Afghanistan, on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. Afghan security forces spent days helping search for bodies, evacuate wounded and resupply communities after heavy snowfall caused dozens of avalanches. (Josh Smith/Stars and Stripes)

Villagers gesture to a departing Afghan Air Force Mi-17 after it dropped supplies to their community on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. Dozens of such villages were cut off after deadly avalanches buried roads and houses.

Villagers gesture to a departing Afghan Air Force Mi-17 after it dropped supplies to their community on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. Dozens of such villages were cut off after deadly avalanches buried roads and houses. (Josh Smith/Stars and Stripes)

Community members help load an Afghan Air Force Mi-17 helicopter in Panjshir province, Afghanistan, with emergency supplies on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. Large swaths of the country were buried under heavy snow, which caused deadly avalanches, cut power lines and stranded many people.

Community members help load an Afghan Air Force Mi-17 helicopter in Panjshir province, Afghanistan, with emergency supplies on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. Large swaths of the country were buried under heavy snow, which caused deadly avalanches, cut power lines and stranded many people. (Josh Smith/Stars and Stripes)

Cars make their way along a road cleared from the debris of an avalanche in Panjshir valley in central Afghanistan on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. Dozens of such avalanches buried roads and communities, killing as many as 200 people.

Cars make their way along a road cleared from the debris of an avalanche in Panjshir valley in central Afghanistan on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. Dozens of such avalanches buried roads and communities, killing as many as 200 people. (Josh Smith/Stars and Stripes)

A village buried by an avalanche is seen from the open door of an Afghan Air Force Mi-17 helicopter over Panjshir valley on Saturday,  Feb. 28, 2015. Several days of heavy snow caused avalanches across the mountains of central and northern Afghanistan, causing as many as 200 deaths.

A village buried by an avalanche is seen from the open door of an Afghan Air Force Mi-17 helicopter over Panjshir valley on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. Several days of heavy snow caused avalanches across the mountains of central and northern Afghanistan, causing as many as 200 deaths. (Josh Smith/Stars and Stripes)

Trucks full of emergency supplies sit outside a stadium in Panjshir province, Afghanistan, on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. Emergency crews and security forces used the area to stage equipment and supplies before loading them onto helicopters for delivery.

Trucks full of emergency supplies sit outside a stadium in Panjshir province, Afghanistan, on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. Emergency crews and security forces used the area to stage equipment and supplies before loading them onto helicopters for delivery. (Josh Smith/Stars and Stripes)

Men take a lunch break Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, in the back of a dump truck loaded with emergency meals for villagers stranded in Afghanistan's high mountain valleys by heavy snow and avalanches.

Men take a lunch break Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, in the back of a dump truck loaded with emergency meals for villagers stranded in Afghanistan's high mountain valleys by heavy snow and avalanches. (Josh Smith/Stars and Stripes)

Men load an Afghan Air Force Mi-17 on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, with emergency meals to be delivered to communities cut off after avalanches killed some 200 people and buried roads in several provinces. Security forces flew daily missions to resupply villages and help evacuate sick and injured people.

Men load an Afghan Air Force Mi-17 on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, with emergency meals to be delivered to communities cut off after avalanches killed some 200 people and buried roads in several provinces. Security forces flew daily missions to resupply villages and help evacuate sick and injured people. (Josh Smith/Stars and Stripes)

An Afghan Air Force crew chief looks out the window of an Mi-17 helicopter as it flies an emergency mission on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, to drop supplies to villages and police outposts stranded in snow. At least three Afghan Air Force helicopters flew from a makeshift staging ground in Panjshir valley to bring supplies and evacuate wounded.

An Afghan Air Force crew chief looks out the window of an Mi-17 helicopter as it flies an emergency mission on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, to drop supplies to villages and police outposts stranded in snow. At least three Afghan Air Force helicopters flew from a makeshift staging ground in Panjshir valley to bring supplies and evacuate wounded. (Josh Smith/Stars and Stripes)

PANJSHIR VALLEY, Afghanistan — Afghan security forces on Saturday continued a third day of operations to assist remote villages and police outposts cut off by heavy snow storms and deadly avalanches.

As many as 200 people are estimated to have been killed by avalanches after storms dumped several feet of new snow on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The avalanches and snow buried villages and roads, downed power lines running to Kabul, and left thousands of people stranded.

Panjshir province in the high mountains of central Afghanistan was among the hardest hit. Villages perched at the base of towering peaks were especially vulnerable to the avalanches that came roaring down all across the region.

From an Afghan Air Force Mi-17 helicopter, one could see large and small avalanches around nearly every corner of the high mountain valleys.

The helicopters transported troops to help with the recovery of bodies and evacuation of wounded. They also delivered emergency supplies and food. Ground troops from the army brought in heavy equipment to try to help clear roads.

“The Ministry of Defense is completely ready and has enough resources to rescue and support the locals that are hit by avalanches in Panjsher” Dawlat Waziri, deputy spokesman for the ministry told Stars and Stripes. “We can provide as much assistance as is needed and we are ready for it.”

Abdul Rahman Kabiri, the acting governor of Panjshir province, said that about 30 bodies had been recovered but many more people were missing.

Zubair Babakarkhail contributed to this report.

smith.josh@stripes.comTwitter: @joshjonsmith


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