The death toll from two avalanches in eastern Turkey rose to 41 on Thursday, the government’s disaster management agency said, as rescue teams continued a difficult search for two missing people.

Five were killed in the first avalanche in Van province bordering Iran on Tuesday, only for rescuers to be hit by a second avalanche the following day.

Three more bodies were recovered Thursday, the DHA news agency said, with the AFAD disaster agency saying a total of 84 people had been injured in the twin avalanches.

Rescue efforts continued despite adverse weather conditions that caused transport problems. Authorities have banned civilian access to the scene, DHA reported.

Last month, the eastern province of Elazig was hit by a powerful 6.7-magnitude earthquake that killed 41 people and injured more than 1,600 others.

A 2009 avalanche in the northeastern province of Gumushane killed 11 climbers in the Zigana mountains.

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