35 members of family die in Afghan mudslide

2014-05-04 19:21
Afghans search for survivors after a massive landslide buried a village in Badakhshan province. (Ahmad Zubair, AP)

Afghans search for survivors after a massive landslide buried a village in Badakhshan province. (Ahmad Zubair, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kabul - Thirty-five people in a single family died in the mudslide that buried a village in north-eastern Afghanistan, an official said Sunday.

"I met an old man who had survived but lost 35 members of his family," said Gul Ahmad Bedar, the deputy governor of Badakhshan province, where Friday's mudslide occurred.

He said 300 bodies had been recovered in Ab-e-Barik village in Argu district before the search operation was halted on Saturday.

About 2 000 people are estimated to be missing, but officials said the possibility of finding survivors at that point was hopeless.

"We shared our decision with the villagers to announce the mudslide area as a mass grave and build a memorial minaret in the centre of the village," Bedar said by telephone.

Officials plan to block off the area, but the surviving villagers disagreed.

Many were adamant about their need to find their loved ones, see them one last time and bury them.

They said they were holding discussions and planned to respond to the officials.

In the meantime, some villagers on Sunday continued digging with shovels in the muck.

The Afghan government declared on Sunday a national day of mourning and ordered flags to fly at half-mast as it dispatched relief supplies to the survivors.

At least 700 families have been displaced in the disaster, including those in neighbouring areas who were evacuated as a precautionary measure because the ground remained unstable after heavy rains, officials said.

Bedar said the government has set aside $700 000 for aid and rehabilitation and has provided 230 tons of food, medicine and tents.

"We have also set aside a plot of land to build residences for the people who have lost their houses," Bedar said.

The Afghan Red Crescent Society, World Food Program, Unicef, International Organisation for Migrants and Aga Khan Development Foundation has also supplied relief goods for the victims, he said.

Humanitarian organisations have started providing health care to the survivors, and local officials are working to arrange support for orphans.

Businessmen and political leaders also donated cash to the village fund. The UN Office for the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs said about 1,000 families are affected and 300 houses destroyed.

"These families are largely being accommodated with host families, and tents have been distributed by NGOs and UN agencies," it said, adding that the World Food Programme has delivered 80.43 metric tons of food to the area and the United Nations was assessing what further help would be needed.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon "is deeply saddened by the loss of life in Afghanistan as a result of the landslide", a statement said.

"United Nations agencies and humanitarian partners are supporting the government of Afghanistan in providing assistance to those who have been displaced and stand ready to coordinate efforts to increase the resilience of communities at risk of natural disasters," it said.

Read more on:    afghanistan

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Top 10 richest musicians of all time

Check out the gallery to find out who they are!

 
 

Luxury living

Seven of the most expensive children's toys ever made
5 millionaires turned murderers
The youngest billionaires in the world and how they made it
Watch: Flying first class has never been this luxurious!
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You are active, busy and on a mission today. There may be a special person you wish to entertain and may put in the extra effort...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.