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Afghanistan sets up emergency power lines to Kabul after avalanches
by Staff Writers
Kabul (AFP) March 3, 2015

Afghan officials said Tuesday they were setting up emergency power lines to supply the capital Kabul a week after deadly avalanches caused by heavy snow plunged the city into darkness.

Around 300 people across Afghanistan died during the avalanches, the bulk of them in the mountainous province of Panjshir, around 150 kilometres (90 miles) north of Kabul.

Some 1,250 houses were also destroyed by the huge sheets of snow, which engulfed whole villages as they swept down from the mountain peaks after days of heavy blizzards.

The blizzards cut power supplies to Kabul and neighbouring provinces after the snowfall damaged cables running through the Salang Pass, part of the Hindu Kush mountain range that connects the capital to the north.

"We are working to set up three emergency power lines within two or three days to Kabul because repairing the main lines will take at least three weeks," Wahidullah Tawhidi, a spokesman for the government owned Breshna electricity company told AFP.

"The emergency lines will add around 170 megawatts of power to 120 megawatts that we already produce through hydropower plants and diesel generators," he said adding the generators cost them around $60,000 a day to supply.

Kabul -- with a population of roughly five million -- needs around 500 megawatts of electricity that is imported mostly from Central Asian countries, mainly neighbouring Turkmenistan.

Despite billions of dollars in projects to support power supply to the country, Afghanistan ranks among the countries with the lowest electricity production per capita in the world.

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Obama, Afghan leader to meet in late March at WHouse
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