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Afghanistan Landslide Update: Thousands Dead, Rescuers Give Up Hope of Finding Survivors

May 6, 2014

An aerial view shows the site of Friday's landslide that buried Abi Barik village in Badakhshan province, northeastern Afghanistan, Monday, May 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

A week of heavy rain and snowmelt triggered landslides in a remote mountain village in Afghanistan Friday, leaving at least 2,100 people presumed dead, buried under a mass of rocks and dirt.

According to a Boston.com report, the site of the slides has become a mass grave. After the first landslide, residents of a nearby village rushed in to help look for survivors, but a second landslide occurred, burying the rescuers.

With the search for survivors ending, officials have a new challenge: providing relief for the hundreds displaced by the slide. Some 700 families have left their homes in the village of Abi Barik after the hill collapsed twice on the village in northeastern Badakhshan province near the borders with China and Tajikistan. Nearly 300 homes were buried – about a third of all houses there, Badakhshan province Gov. Shah Waliullah Adeeb said.

(MORE: Families Evacuated after Baltimore Landslide)

Families abandoned their homes over renewed fears that rains could trigger yet another landslide. Worse yet, the mounds of muck from Friday's slides blocked drainage routes for water in the valley, increasing the chance for major flooding.

The government and aid groups flocked to the area to provide basic relief such as food, water and shelter, but as of Sunday, many people had not received the most basic of supplies.

"My family, my wife and eight children are alive, but have nothing to use as shelter. We have nothing to eat," Barat Bay, a 50-year-old farmer and father of eight, told the Associated Press. "We have passed the last two nights with our children at the top of this hill with no tent, no blanket."

Many evacuees have fled to nearby villages and others have simply slept out in the open.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report


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