Accessibility links

Hundreds Feared Dead in Afghan Landslides

  • VOA News

Afghans search for survivors after a massive landslide landslide buried a village in Badakhshan province on May 2, 2014.
Landslides triggered by heavy rain have buried homes in northeastern Afghanistan, with hundreds of people missing and feared dead.

National Disaster Management Authority chief Daim Kakar told VOA's Afghanistan service on Friday that work is underway to rescue people in the Argo district of remote Badakhshan province. Nearly 300 homes have been buried in mud.

As many as 700 of the 2,000-plus people living in the village of Ab-i-Barik are missing and feared dead, provincial officials told VOA. Helicopters and relief teams have been dispatched to help in the rescue.

United Nations officials said at least least 350 people have been killed, according to Western news agencies. The U.N. says it was working with Afghan authorities to find those trapped.

Several hundred people have been evacuated from the area for fear of additional landslides.

During a press conference in Washington, U.S. President Barack Obama expressed his condolences over the disaster. "Our thoughts are with the people of Afghanistan, who have experienced an awful tragedy," he said.

Heavy rain has taken its toll on Afghanistan. Last week, floods killed at least 95 people in Jawzjan, Faryab, Sar-i-pul and Badghis provinces.

Badakhshan is one of the country's most remote provinces, bordering China, Tajikistan and Pakistan.