UK & World News

  • 3 May 2014, 1:21

Thousands Missing As Landslide Buries Village

As many as 2,500 people could be dead after a landslide buried part of a village in Afghanistan, according to officials.

Three hundred homes in the village of Hobo Barik were buried after heavy rains caused part of a hill to collapse at around 1pm local time on Friday.

Governor Shah Waliullah Adeeb said around a third of the village had been hit by the landslide and appealed for equipment for rescue teams.

He said: "Our initial findings, based on local people's reports, show around 2,500 people including women and children might be dead as a result of these landslides.

"It's physically impossible right now. We don't have enough shovels, we need more machinery."

Mr Adeeb added authorities had evacuated a nearby village over fears of more landslides.

Ahmad Reza, an Afghan journalist, told Sky News: "They say they have warned another 700 homes to evacuate because of rock falls that might happen at any time.

"They are searching for survivors, but rescuers say this disaster is huge. Up until now only eight survivors have been found."

Ari Gaitanis, from the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, said at least 350 people have died in the landslide.

Faziluddin Hayar, police chief in Badakshan province, said seven people have been rescued and search crews were looking for more survivors.

Badakshan province is located in the Hindu Kush and Pamir mountain ranges and is one of the most remote areas in the country.

The area, which borders Tajikistan and China, has seen few attacks from insurgents following the 2001 US-led military action in the country.

It comes after severe flooding left 150 people dead and thousands affected in Jowzjan, Faryab and Sar-e-Pul provinces in the north of the country.

Avalanches are also common in the mountains of northern Afghanistan. In February 2010, more than 170 people were killed in an avalanche in Salang Pass, which connects the capital Kabul with the north of the country.