News World 2250 feared dead in mudslide

2250 feared dead in mudslide

Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

About 2250 people are feared dead after a mudslide buried an Afghan village in the far northeastern province of Badakhshan.

More than 300 houses in Ab-e-Barik were swept away in the mudslide on Friday, which occurred after heavy rainfall, said Naveed Ferotan, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

“Our rescue teams have so far found 150 bodies in the area, and they are working hard to save the villagers,” he said.

About 2100 other people are missing and also feared dead, officials say.

The mudslide first struck a wedding party, killing 250 people, and then buried nearly all of the village as well as farmland, said Haji Abdul Wadood Saeedi, governor of the Argu district, where Ab-e-Barik is located.

About 300 families are missing, he said.

The ground is still unstable, and people in nearby villages are scared they could also become victims, Saeedi said.

Rescue teams were dispatched to the area and at least 1500 people have been evacuated from Ab-e-Barik so far, he said.

The UN says 700 families lived in Ab-e-Barik and at least 120 houses have been destroyed.

“Reportedly, 350 people have died and 580 families are at severe risk of further landslides,” said Ari Gaitanis, a UN spokesman in Kabul.

“The village is flooded, and a drainage channel must be opened to prevent further destruction,” he said.

The national government and UN planned their own rescue and aid response.

Badakhshan, however, is a remote, mountainous province along the Hindu Kush and Pamir ranges, bordering China and Pakistan.

Delivering rescue teams and equipment as well as aid would be difficult at the best of times in most of the province but has been worsened by recent rains and landslides.

“We have 200 tons of food stuffs, including flour, rice and sugar, which will be sent tomorrow morning,” Wais Barmak, minister for rural rehabilitation and development, said on Friday.