Arctic cold hit much of southwest Asia throughout January and into February. Temperatures were as much as 35 degrees colder than in previous years. The most intense cold was in Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. The extreme winter conditions were the worst in decades in both Afghanistan and Tajikistan. In Afghanistan, the cold left more than 750 people and 230,000 cattle dead. Most families rely on cattle for food security so the loss could cause additional problems. Even as cold temperatures increased the demand for electricity, power production decreased when inlet streams feeding hydroelectric power plants froze.
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