At least 52 people are dead after a landslide engulfed up to 100 houses in a remote mountainous area in Afghanistan's northeastern Badakhshan province.

The deputy provincial governor Gul Mohammad Baidar told VOA the dead included 25 women and 22 children.  He said the government had asked the villagers to vacate the area after a landslide three days ago, but some families remained in the area.

He also said that a rescue team was on its way via helicopters to survey the damage.   

The telephone networks in the area are down and the village is almost a day's ride from the nearest city.  Heavy snow and bad weather has hampered rescue efforts and rescuers say the area is only accessible from the air.

President Ashraf Ghani, who is on a three days trip to India, expressed sorrow over the tragedy and has issued directives to the concerned authorities to urgently provide emergency assistance to the area.