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Landslide in Afghanistan kills at least 350

KDWN

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A landslide triggered by heavy rain buried large sections of a remote northeastern Afghan village on Friday, killing at least 350 people and leaving more than 2,000 missing. Villagers looked on helplessly and the governor appealed for shovels to help dig through the mass of mud that flattened every home in its path.

The mountainous area in Badakhshan province has experienced days of heavy rain and flooding, and the side of a cliff collapsed onto the village of Hobo Barik around midday. Landslides and avalanches are frequent in Afghanistan, but Friday’s was one of the deadliest.

Gov. Shah Waliullah Adeeb said more than 2,000 people were missing after the landslide buried some 300 homes – about a third of all the houses in the area.

At least 350 people were confirmed dead, according to Ari Gaitanis, a spokesman from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. He said the U.N. was working with authorities on the ground to rescue people still trapped.

The governor said rescue crews were working but didn’t have enough equipment.

“It’s physically impossible right now,” Adeeb said. “We don’t have enough shovels; we need more machinery.”

Badakhshan provincial police chief, Maj. Gen. Faziluddin Hayar said rescuers had pulled seven survivors and three bodies from the mounds of mud and earth but held out little hope that more survivors would be found.

“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,” Hayar said.

Video footage of the scene showed a large section of the mountain collapsed, sending mud and earth tumbling onto the village below.

The landslide was likely caused by heavy rain, said Abdullah Homayun Dehqan, the province’s director for National Disaster Department. He said floods last week in different districts of the province killed four people and eight more were still missing.

Landslides occur frequently in the province, but they generally happen in remote areas and produce far fewer casualties, said Mohammad Usman Abu Zar from the Meteorology Department of Badakhshan province.

Authorities evacuated a nearby village over concerns about further landslides, the governor said. Dehqan said blankets and tents had been sent and about 400 people from nearby villages had gathered to help with the rescue effort.

Hayar said the landslide happened about 1 p.m. Friday, a day of worship in Afghanistan when many families would have been at home instead of at work.

President Barack Obama, speaking at a White House news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, expressed his sympathy for the Afghan people.

“Just as the United States has stood with the people of Afghanistan through a difficult decade, we stand ready to help our Afghan partners as they respond to this disaster, for even as our war there comes to an end this year, our commitment to Afghanistan and its people will endure,” he said.

Badakhshan province, nestled in the Hindu Kush and Pamir mountain ranges and bordering China, is one of the most remote in the country. The area has seen few attacks from insurgents following the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Afghans living in the rugged mountains of northern Afghanistan are used to natural disasters. A landslide in Baghlan province, also in northeastern Afghanistan, killed 71 people in 2012. After days of digging unearthed only five bodies, authorities decided to halt the recovery effort and turn the area into a memorial for the dead.

Avalanches are also a factor. In February 2010, when more than 170 people were killed at the 12,700-foot-high (3,800-meter) Salang Pass, which is the major route through the Hindu Kush mountains that connects the capital to the north.

Associated Press Writer Rebecca Santana contributed to this report.

Landslide in Afghanistan kills at least 350

KDWN

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A landslide triggered by heavy rain buried large sections of a remote northeastern Afghan village on Friday, killing at least 350 people and leaving more than 2,000 missing. Villagers looked on helplessly and the governor appealed for shovels to help dig through the mass of mud that flattened every home in its path.

The mountainous area in Badakhshan province has experienced days of heavy rain and flooding, and the side of a cliff collapsed onto the village of Hobo Barik around midday. Landslides and avalanches are frequent in Afghanistan, but Friday’s was one of the deadliest.

Gov. Shah Waliullah Adeeb said more than 2,000 people were missing after the landslide buried some 300 homes – about a third of all the houses in the area.

At least 350 people were confirmed dead, according to Ari Gaitanis, a spokesman from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. He said the U.N. was working with authorities on the ground to rescue people still trapped.

The governor said rescue crews were working but didn’t have enough equipment.

“It’s physically impossible right now,” Adeeb said. “We don’t have enough shovels; we need more machinery.”

Badakhshan provincial police chief, Maj. Gen. Faziluddin Hayar said rescuers had pulled seven survivors and three bodies from the mounds of mud and earth but held out little hope that more survivors would be found.

“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,” Hayar said.

Video footage of the scene showed a large section of the mountain collapsed, sending mud and earth tumbling onto the village below.

The landslide was likely caused by heavy rain, said Abdullah Homayun Dehqan, the province’s director for National Disaster Department. He said floods last week in different districts of the province killed four people and eight more were still missing.

Landslides occur frequently in the province, but they generally happen in remote areas and produce far fewer casualties, said Mohammad Usman Abu Zar from the Meteorology Department of Badakhshan province.

Authorities evacuated a nearby village over concerns about further landslides, the governor said. Dehqan said blankets and tents had been sent and about 400 people from nearby villages had gathered to help with the rescue effort.

Hayar said the landslide happened about 1 p.m. Friday, a day of worship in Afghanistan when many families would have been at home instead of at work.

President Barack Obama, speaking at a White House news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, expressed his sympathy for the Afghan people.

“Just as the United States has stood with the people of Afghanistan through a difficult decade, we stand ready to help our Afghan partners as they respond to this disaster, for even as our war there comes to an end this year, our commitment to Afghanistan and its people will endure,” he said.

Badakhshan province, nestled in the Hindu Kush and Pamir mountain ranges and bordering China, is one of the most remote in the country. The area has seen few attacks from insurgents following the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Afghans living in the rugged mountains of northern Afghanistan are used to natural disasters. A landslide in Baghlan province, also in northeastern Afghanistan, killed 71 people in 2012. After days of digging unearthed only five bodies, authorities decided to halt the recovery effort and turn the area into a memorial for the dead.

Avalanches are also a factor. In February 2010, when more than 170 people were killed at the 12,700-foot-high (3,800-meter) Salang Pass, which is the major route through the Hindu Kush mountains that connects the capital to the north.

Associated Press Writer Rebecca Santana contributed to this report.

Landslide in Afghanistan kills at least 350

KDWN

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A landslide triggered by heavy rain buried large sections of a remote northeastern Afghan village on Friday, killing at least 350 people and leaving more than 2,000 missing. Villagers looked on helplessly and the governor appealed for shovels to help dig through the mass of mud that flattened every home in its path.

The mountainous area in Badakhshan province has experienced days of heavy rain and flooding, and the side of a cliff collapsed onto the village of Hobo Barik around midday. Landslides and avalanches are frequent in Afghanistan, but Friday’s was one of the deadliest.

Gov. Shah Waliullah Adeeb said more than 2,000 people were missing after the landslide buried some 300 homes – about a third of all the houses in the area.

At least 350 people were confirmed dead, according to Ari Gaitanis, a spokesman from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. He said the U.N. was working with authorities on the ground to rescue people still trapped.

The governor said rescue crews were working but didn’t have enough equipment.

“It’s physically impossible right now,” Adeeb said. “We don’t have enough shovels; we need more machinery.”

Badakhshan provincial police chief, Maj. Gen. Faziluddin Hayar said rescuers had pulled seven survivors and three bodies from the mounds of mud and earth but held out little hope that more survivors would be found.

“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,” Hayar said.

Video footage of the scene showed a large section of the mountain collapsed, sending mud and earth tumbling onto the village below.

The landslide was likely caused by heavy rain, said Abdullah Homayun Dehqan, the province’s director for National Disaster Department. He said floods last week in different districts of the province killed four people and eight more were still missing.

Landslides occur frequently in the province, but they generally happen in remote areas and produce far fewer casualties, said Mohammad Usman Abu Zar from the Meteorology Department of Badakhshan province.

Authorities evacuated a nearby village over concerns about further landslides, the governor said. Dehqan said blankets and tents had been sent and about 400 people from nearby villages had gathered to help with the rescue effort.

Hayar said the landslide happened about 1 p.m. Friday, a day of worship in Afghanistan when many families would have been at home instead of at work.

President Barack Obama, speaking at a White House news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, expressed his sympathy for the Afghan people.

“Just as the United States has stood with the people of Afghanistan through a difficult decade, we stand ready to help our Afghan partners as they respond to this disaster, for even as our war there comes to an end this year, our commitment to Afghanistan and its people will endure,” he said.

Badakhshan province, nestled in the Hindu Kush and Pamir mountain ranges and bordering China, is one of the most remote in the country. The area has seen few attacks from insurgents following the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Afghans living in the rugged mountains of northern Afghanistan are used to natural disasters. A landslide in Baghlan province, also in northeastern Afghanistan, killed 71 people in 2012. After days of digging unearthed only five bodies, authorities decided to halt the recovery effort and turn the area into a memorial for the dead.

Avalanches are also a factor. In February 2010, when more than 170 people were killed at the 12,700-foot-high (3,800-meter) Salang Pass, which is the major route through the Hindu Kush mountains that connects the capital to the north.

Associated Press Writer Rebecca Santana contributed to this report.

Landslide in Afghanistan kills at least 350

KDWN

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A landslide triggered by heavy rain buried large sections of a remote northeastern Afghan village on Friday, killing at least 350 people and leaving more than 2,000 missing. Villagers looked on helplessly and the governor appealed for shovels to help dig through the mass of mud that flattened every home in its path.

The mountainous area in Badakhshan province has experienced days of heavy rain and flooding, and the side of a cliff collapsed onto the village of Hobo Barik around midday. Landslides and avalanches are frequent in Afghanistan, but Friday’s was one of the deadliest.

Gov. Shah Waliullah Adeeb said more than 2,000 people were missing after the landslide buried some 300 homes – about a third of all the houses in the area.

At least 350 people were confirmed dead, according to Ari Gaitanis, a spokesman from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. He said the U.N. was working with authorities on the ground to rescue people still trapped.

The governor said rescue crews were working but didn’t have enough equipment.

“It’s physically impossible right now,” Adeeb said. “We don’t have enough shovels; we need more machinery.”

Badakhshan provincial police chief, Maj. Gen. Faziluddin Hayar said rescuers had pulled seven survivors and three bodies from the mounds of mud and earth but held out little hope that more survivors would be found.

“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,” Hayar said.

Video footage of the scene showed a large section of the mountain collapsed, sending mud and earth tumbling onto the village below.

The landslide was likely caused by heavy rain, said Abdullah Homayun Dehqan, the province’s director for National Disaster Department. He said floods last week in different districts of the province killed four people and eight more were still missing.

Landslides occur frequently in the province, but they generally happen in remote areas and produce far fewer casualties, said Mohammad Usman Abu Zar from the Meteorology Department of Badakhshan province.

Authorities evacuated a nearby village over concerns about further landslides, the governor said. Dehqan said blankets and tents had been sent and about 400 people from nearby villages had gathered to help with the rescue effort.

Hayar said the landslide happened about 1 p.m. Friday, a day of worship in Afghanistan when many families would have been at home instead of at work.

President Barack Obama, speaking at a White House news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, expressed his sympathy for the Afghan people.

“Just as the United States has stood with the people of Afghanistan through a difficult decade, we stand ready to help our Afghan partners as they respond to this disaster, for even as our war there comes to an end this year, our commitment to Afghanistan and its people will endure,” he said.

Badakhshan province, nestled in the Hindu Kush and Pamir mountain ranges and bordering China, is one of the most remote in the country. The area has seen few attacks from insurgents following the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Afghans living in the rugged mountains of northern Afghanistan are used to natural disasters. A landslide in Baghlan province, also in northeastern Afghanistan, killed 71 people in 2012. After days of digging unearthed only five bodies, authorities decided to halt the recovery effort and turn the area into a memorial for the dead.

Avalanches are also a factor. In February 2010, when more than 170 people were killed at the 12,700-foot-high (3,800-meter) Salang Pass, which is the major route through the Hindu Kush mountains that connects the capital to the north.

Associated Press Writer Rebecca Santana contributed to this report.

Landslide in Afghanistan kills at least 350

KDWN

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A landslide triggered by heavy rain buried large sections of a remote northeastern Afghan village on Friday, killing at least 350 people and leaving more than 2,000 missing. Villagers looked on helplessly and the governor appealed for shovels to help dig through the mass of mud that flattened every home in its path.

The mountainous area in Badakhshan province has experienced days of heavy rain and flooding, and the side of a cliff collapsed onto the village of Hobo Barik around midday. Landslides and avalanches are frequent in Afghanistan, but Friday’s was one of the deadliest.

Gov. Shah Waliullah Adeeb said more than 2,000 people were missing after the landslide buried some 300 homes – about a third of all the houses in the area.

At least 350 people were confirmed dead, according to Ari Gaitanis, a spokesman from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. He said the U.N. was working with authorities on the ground to rescue people still trapped.

The governor said rescue crews were working but didn’t have enough equipment.

“It’s physically impossible right now,” Adeeb said. “We don’t have enough shovels; we need more machinery.”

Badakhshan provincial police chief, Maj. Gen. Faziluddin Hayar said rescuers had pulled seven survivors and three bodies from the mounds of mud and earth but held out little hope that more survivors would be found.

“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,” Hayar said.

Video footage of the scene showed a large section of the mountain collapsed, sending mud and earth tumbling onto the village below.

The landslide was likely caused by heavy rain, said Abdullah Homayun Dehqan, the province’s director for National Disaster Department. He said floods last week in different districts of the province killed four people and eight more were still missing.

Landslides occur frequently in the province, but they generally happen in remote areas and produce far fewer casualties, said Mohammad Usman Abu Zar from the Meteorology Department of Badakhshan province.

Authorities evacuated a nearby village over concerns about further landslides, the governor said. Dehqan said blankets and tents had been sent and about 400 people from nearby villages had gathered to help with the rescue effort.

Hayar said the landslide happened about 1 p.m. Friday, a day of worship in Afghanistan when many families would have been at home instead of at work.

President Barack Obama, speaking at a White House news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, expressed his sympathy for the Afghan people.

“Just as the United States has stood with the people of Afghanistan through a difficult decade, we stand ready to help our Afghan partners as they respond to this disaster, for even as our war there comes to an end this year, our commitment to Afghanistan and its people will endure,” he said.

Badakhshan province, nestled in the Hindu Kush and Pamir mountain ranges and bordering China, is one of the most remote in the country. The area has seen few attacks from insurgents following the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Afghans living in the rugged mountains of northern Afghanistan are used to natural disasters. A landslide in Baghlan province, also in northeastern Afghanistan, killed 71 people in 2012. After days of digging unearthed only five bodies, authorities decided to halt the recovery effort and turn the area into a memorial for the dead.

Avalanches are also a factor. In February 2010, when more than 170 people were killed at the 12,700-foot-high (3,800-meter) Salang Pass, which is the major route through the Hindu Kush mountains that connects the capital to the north.

Associated Press Writer Rebecca Santana contributed to this report.

Landslide in Afghanistan kills at least 350

KDWN

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A landslide triggered by heavy rain buried about a third of a remote northeastern Afghan village on Friday, killing at least 350 people and leaving more than 2,000 missing. Villagers looked on helplessly and the governor appealed for shovels and other equipment to help dig through the mass of mud that flattened the homes in its path.

The mountainous area in Badakhshan province has experienced frequent floods in recent days, and the side of the hill collapsed onto the village of Hobo Barik at about 1 p.m. Landslides and avalanches are frequent in Afghanistan, but Friday’s was one of the deadliest.

Gov. Shah Waliullah Adeeb said more than 2,000 people were missing after a hill collapsed on the village of after days of heavy rain. Adeeb said the landslide buried some 300 homes in the area – about a third of all houses there.

Ari Gaitanis, a spokesman from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, said at least 350 people died in the landslide. He said the U.N. was working with authorities on the ground to rescue people still trapped.

The governor said rescue crews were working but didn’t have enough equipment.

“It’s physically impossible right now,” Adeeb said. “We don’t have enough shovels; we need more machinery.”

Video footage of the scene showed how a large section of the mountain had simply slipped away sending mud and earth sliding through the village below.

The landslide was likely due to heavy rain in the area, said Abdullah Homayun Dehqan, the province’s director for National Disaster Department. He said floods last week in different districts of the province killed four people and eight more were still missing.

The province normally has many landslides, but they generally occur in remote areas and produce no casualties, said Mohammad Usman Abu Zar from the Meteorology Department of Badakhshan province. He said authorities would investigate further, but initial reports indicated that the heavy rain was the cause.

Authorities evacuated a nearby village over concerns about further landslides, the governor said.

Provincial police chief Faziluddin Hayar said the landslide happened about 1 p.m. Friday. Friday is a day of worship in Afghanistan, so many families would have been at home instead of at work at the time.

Badakhshan province, nestled in the Hindu Kush and Pamir mountain ranges and bordering China, is one of the most remote in the country. The area has seen few attacks from insurgents following the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Afghans living in the rugged mountains of northern Afghanistan are used to avalanches as well. The most deadly one in the past two years occurred in February 2010, when more than 170 people were killed at the 12,700-foot (3,800-meter) -high Salang Pass, which is the major route through the Hindu Kush mountains that connects the capital to the north.

Associated Press writer Rebecca Santana contributed to this report.

Landslide in Afghanistan kills at least 350

KDWN

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A landslide triggered by heavy rain buried about a third of a remote northeastern Afghan village on Friday, killing at least 350 people and leaving more than 2,000 missing. Villagers looked on helplessly and the governor appealed for shovels and other equipment to help dig through the mass of mud that flattened the homes in its path.

The mountainous area in Badakhshan province has experienced frequent floods in recent days, and the side of the hill collapsed onto the village of Hobo Barik at about 1 p.m. Landslides and avalanches are frequent in Afghanistan, but Friday’s was one of the deadliest.

Gov. Shah Waliullah Adeeb said more than 2,000 people were missing after a hill collapsed on the village of after days of heavy rain. Adeeb said the landslide buried some 300 homes in the area – about a third of all houses there.

Ari Gaitanis, a spokesman from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, said at least 350 people died in the landslide. He said the U.N. was working with authorities on the ground to rescue people still trapped.

The governor said rescue crews were working but didn’t have enough equipment.

“It’s physically impossible right now,” Adeeb said. “We don’t have enough shovels; we need more machinery.”

Video footage of the scene showed how a large section of the mountain had simply slipped away sending mud and earth sliding through the village below.

The landslide was likely due to heavy rain in the area, said Abdullah Homayun Dehqan, the province’s director for National Disaster Department. He said floods last week in different districts of the province killed four people and eight more were still missing.

The province normally has many landslides, but they generally occur in remote areas and produce no casualties, said Mohammad Usman Abu Zar from the Meteorology Department of Badakhshan province. He said authorities would investigate further, but initial reports indicated that the heavy rain was the cause.

Authorities evacuated a nearby village over concerns about further landslides, the governor said.

Provincial police chief Faziluddin Hayar said the landslide happened about 1 p.m. Friday. Friday is a day of worship in Afghanistan, so many families would have been at home instead of at work at the time.

Badakhshan province, nestled in the Hindu Kush and Pamir mountain ranges and bordering China, is one of the most remote in the country. The area has seen few attacks from insurgents following the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Afghans living in the rugged mountains of northern Afghanistan are used to avalanches as well. The most deadly one in the past two years occurred in February 2010, when more than 170 people were killed at the 12,700-foot (3,800-meter) -high Salang Pass, which is the major route through the Hindu Kush mountains that connects the capital to the north.

Associated Press writer Rebecca Santana contributed to this report.

Landslide in Afghanistan kills at least 350

KDWN

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A landslide buried a village Friday in northeastern Afghanistan, leaving at least 350 people dead and hundreds missing, said Afghan and U.N. officials.

Badakhshan province Gov. Shah Waliullah Adeeb said more than 2,000 people were missing after a hill collapsed on the village of Hobo Barik after days of heavy rain. Adeeb said the landslide buried some 300 homes in the area – about a third of all houses there.

Ari Gaitanis, a spokesman from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, said at least 350 people died in the landslide. He said the U.N. is working with authorities on the ground to rescue people still trapped.

The governor said rescue crews were working but didn’t have enough equipment, appealing for shovels.

“It’s physically impossible right now,” Adeeb said. “We don’t have enough shovels; we need more machinery.”

He said authorities evacuated a nearby village over concerns about further landslides.

Provincial police chief Faziluddin Hayar said the landslide happened about 1 p.m. Friday.

Badakhshan province, nestled in the Hindu Kush and Pamir mountain ranges and bordering China, is one of the most remote in the country. The area has seen few attacks from insurgents following the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Afghans living in the rugged mountains of northern Afghanistan are used to avalanches. The most deadly one in the past two years occurred in February 2010, when more than 170 people were killed at the 12,700-foot (3,800-meter) -high Salang Pass, which is the major route through the Hindu Kush mountains that connects the capital to the north.