Monday, May 5, 2014

Afghanistan landslide: Over 2,000 feared dead in remote north-eastern village

Lewis Smith in RAWA News: Officials in Afghanistan have said that at least 2,000 people are feared dead after a mountainside collapsed causing a massive landslide in a remote region of the country. Seven people were pulled alive from the mud and debris that flattened 300 homes but rescuers were pessimistic about anyone else being alive beneath the piles of earth.

Many victims were villagers who dashed to help their neighbours when
a landslide struck but were then caught in a second wave of mud. It was reported that a wedding was taking place in the village. “Now we can only help the displaced people. Those trapped under the landslide and who have lost lives, it is impossible to do anything for them,” said Major General Faziluddin Hayar, the Badakhshan provincial police chief.

Those who were caught by the catastrophic landslip were from the village of Hobo Barik, about a third of which was wiped out, and most would have been at home rather than at work because it was a day of worship. Up to 600 people from nearby villages made their way to Hobo Barik, in the north east of the country, to try to help the rescue operation but were severely hampered by a lack of shovels and machinery. The mud covering the devastated village was said to be several metres thick.

The landslide is believed to have been triggered by heavy rain which has swept the region for several days. Landslide and avalanches are common in the province but are rarely so deadly. Ari Gaitanis, of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, said 350 people had been confirmed dead and that the UN is trying to help the rescue operation....

The Kokcha River in Badakhshan Province of Afghanistan -- no idea of its proximity to the landslide in the same province. Shot by Julian-G. Albert, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license  

No comments: