AAB BAREEK, Afghanistan, May 5 (Xinhua) -- Scores of aid agencies have stepped up efforts to increase the emergency response to victims of a deadly landslide in a northern remote village in Afghanistan.
"We have been working hard to coordinate efforts and provide best assistance to Aab Bareek landslide survivors," Director General of National Disaster Management Authority Dr. Mohammad Daim Kakar told Xinhua on Monday.
Following days of heavy rains, a massive landslide hit the Aab Bareek village of Argo district in northern mountainous Badakhshan province on Friday.
Pile of soil slammed into the village with 700 houses and crumpled 300 of them, with hundreds of the villagers trapped in their collapsed houses.
"We have enough food. There are adequate tents, medicines and water," the top disaster official said.
The natural disaster, which entered its fourth day, had forced many villagers to sleep on hill tops and find higher place in open areas as they feared of more landslide at the spot as the village is surrounded by muddy hills and mountains.
"We slept in open area for two nights. We got tents and some food on Sunday afternoon. We suffer from hunger and desperation for four days," a resident, Jora Qual, said.
The world leaders and dozens of organizations have sent condolence messages to President Hamid Karzai and the people of Afghanistan after the disaster occurred.
"I am shocked to learn of the severe incident of landslide taking place in Badakhshan province of your respected country, which has caused huge human casualties and property losses," Chinese President Xi Jinping said in his sympathy message to Karzai.
Xi said that China was willing to offer support and aid for disaster relief in light of the need of Afghanistan.
U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday expressed his condolences to Karzai over the landslide, offering additional assistance to the ongoing relief efforts.
The remote village is located roughly four-hour drive from provincial capital Faizabad, 315 km northeast of national capital Kabul.
The lines of the trucks carrying aid to the village also faced challenges as several parts of the main road were destroyed by recent flooding.
Several aid teams, including those from Iran and Turkey, had already arrived in the area. Food kits and kitchen tools had also been shifted to the village.
On Sunday, Afghan Vice President Mohammad Youns Qanooni was among dozens of leader who visited the site.
The European Union Special Representative and Head of the European Union Delegation to Afghanistan Franz-Michael Mellbin was at the site on Sunday.
"The European Union is following the emergency relief efforts in close coordination with humanitarian actors on the ground. Partners of the EU Humanitarian Aid Agency (ECHO) have started providing relief items such as emergency shelters to the affected population and we stand ready to provide further assistance," Mellbin said in a statement.
Although there is still no official death toll, Badakhshan's provincial governor Shah Waliullah Adeeb told Xinhua that more than 2,500 people might have lost their lives in the landslide.
"We have talked to the leaders of the village. You know, the hopes become lighter for those still buried under the rubble. The local leaders told us not to conduct a rescue and digging operation," Kakar said.
"The villagers got enough foods. They are now living in tents now. Friday night, they stayed in open areas," he said.
"The number of people who lost their lives is not as high as reported before," the top disaster official added, "Based on statistic by our government agencies, there are 700 houses, out of which 300 homes were trapped by the mudslide. A total of 280 trapped people are identified after the talk with survived relatives."
"Our estimates show some 300 to 600 people had died in the disaster," Kahar said.
The Afghan air force has conducted 31 flights since Friday, Defense Ministry Spokesman Gen. Zhair Azimi told Xinhua.
The Afghan people have also given hands to collect money. In southern Helmand province, which is notorious for Taliban-led militancy, local people had collected 35,000 U.S. dollars for relief fund.
The Afghan private sector and businessmen have also sent relief items and 100,000 U.S. dollars in cash for the victims of the disaster.
ARGO, Afghanistan, May 4 (Xinhua) -- Scores of villagers who survived the deadly landslide in the mountainous Badakhshan province are wandering at the site of the natural disaster to locate their nears and dears who were buried alive when thousands of tons of mud and earth struck Aab Bareek village on Friday.
"I am searching to locate and discover my wife along with four children who are missing since Friday noon," Pir Qul, 50, told Xinhua at the site of the natural disaster on Saturday.Full story
BRUSSELS, May 3 (Xinhua) - The European Union on Saturday said it is following closely the situation in landslide-hit Afghanistan and is ready to provide assistance.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and European commissioner for humanitarian aid Kristalina Georgieva are deeply concerned about and saddened by the devastating landslide in northern Afghanistan.Full story
TIRANA, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Albania on Saturday offered condolences to Afghanistan over a deadly landslide.
In a press release, the Albanian Foreign Ministry expressed deep sorrow at the tragedy occurred Friday in the province of Badakhshan, in northeast Afghanistan, where hundreds of people were killed, many others were injured or presumed dead in the landslide.Full story
ARGO, Afghanistan, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Up to 255 bodies were recovered and identified from Friday's massive landslide in northern Afghan province of Badakhshan, sources said on Saturday.
"A total of 255 bodies, including children and women, were found. They were identified," Provincial Director of Disaster Management Department Sayyed Abdullah Homayyon Dehqan told Xinhua at the site.Full story