News / Asia

Search Ends After Afghan Landslide Kills Hundreds

Afghans search for survivors buried after a massive landslide in a village in Badakhshan province, northeastern Afghanistan, May 2 2014 (photo via Homayoon Rahmani).
Afghans search for survivors buried after a massive landslide in a village in Badakhshan province, northeastern Afghanistan, May 2 2014 (photo via Homayoon Rahmani).
VOA News
Hundreds of Afghan volunteers armed with shovels joined rescue teams in northern Afghanistan Saturday, in a mostly futile attempt to locate survivors of a massive landslide that buried hundreds of villagers under tons of rock and mud.

By nightfall, however, authorities in the remote Badakhshan province village of Aab Bareek had recovered only two bodies and said they had given up hope of finding survivors. Rescuers also voiced fears of further landslides, after days of torrential rains in the area bordering Tajikistan, China and Pakistan.

Officials say at least 300 homes have disappeared and that the death toll could rise to as high as 500. Provincial Governor Shah Waliullah Adeeb told reporters at the scene the houses were under meters of mud.

"We will offer prayers for the victims and make the area a mass grave," he said.

President Hamid Karzai announced a national day of mourning.

By late Saturday, the focus of the disaster had shifted to food, water and other needs of the thousands of people displaced or evacuated from the disaster scene.

Authorities also sought to clarify early statements on the death toll, which some locals and aid agencies had placed as high as 2,700. A presidential spokesman and United Nations officials at the scene placed preliminary figures at 250-350 confirmed dead.

U.S. President Barack Obama and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon offered formal condolences and promises of help.
 
  • Survivors sit in front of their tents near the site of the landslide that killed hundreds of people. Authorities are trying to help the 700 families displaced by the torrent of mud that swept through their village, in Badakhshan province, northeastern Afghanistan, May 6, 2014.
  • Survivors wait to receive food donations near the site of the landslide that buried Abi-Barik village in Badakhshan province, northeastern Afghanistan, May 6, 2014.
  • Afghanis show their injuries to local and international journalists after police fired shots into the air to disperse a crowd that had rushed toward a truck carrying aid, near the site of the landslide that buried Abi Barik village in Badakhshan province, northeastern Afghanistan, May 6, 2014.
  • Survivors wait to receive food donations near the site of the landslide that buried Abi-Barik village in Badakhshan province, northeastern Afghanistan, May 6, 2014.
  • Survivors gather around the lifeless body of a woman after her body was recovered from the landslide that buried Abi-Barik village, Badakhshan province, northeastern Afghanistan, May 6, 2014.
  • An ariel view shows the site of the landslide that buried Abi Barik village in Badakhshan province, northeastern Afghanistan, May 5, 2014.
  • Afghans search for survivors after a massive landslide landslide buried a village in Badakhshan province, northeastern Afghanistan, May 2, 2014.
  • This image made from AP video shows people searching for survivors after a massive landslide landslide buried a village in Badakhshan province, northeastern Afghanistan, May 2, 2014.
  • This image made from AP video shows people searching for survivors after a massive landslide landslide buried a village in Badakhshan province, northeastern Afghanistan, May 2, 2014.
  • Afghans search for survivors after a massive landslide landslide buried a village in Badakhshan province, northeastern Afghanistan, May 2, 2014.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Hamidi from: Kabul Afghanistan
May 04, 2014 4:06 AM
Long live the Afghan National Army!!! Who has ever worked in collaboration with the people of our country, we all proud of them and my special condolences for the victims and their survivors.
Hamidi

by: Anny from: China
May 03, 2014 10:32 PM
Feel sorry about that!
Thanks for Mr. Obama's help and condolences and promises for help!
Victims be peace at heaven!

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