|People watch the rescue operations in Aab Bareek, Badakhshan, Afghanistan, May 3, 2014. A massive landslide hit a village in northern Afghan Badakhshan province on Friday, causing heavy casualties, but the exact number of deaths and injuries remained unknown Saturday as officials here released contradictory numbers. (Xinhua/Ahmad Massoud)
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KABUL, May 3 (Xinhua) -- The site of a massive landslide may change to a massive grave as huge rubble seemed to have made the recovering of bodies impossible, rescue officials said Saturday.
"The latest report by the provincial governor is that at least 2,000 have died in the landslides, buried under at least 10 meters of mud and debris," the UN mission in the country said.
The incident occurred in a remote village in Aab Bareek area of Argo district in the mountainous province with Faizabad city as its capital, 315 km northeast of Afghan capital of Kabul. The disaster was triggered by recent heavy rains.
The rescuers continue search efforts after nearly 24 hours but so far only three bodies were found and 12 injured were rescued, officials said.
"The immediate focus is on approximately 700 families (4,000+) displaced either directly as a result of this slide or as a precautionary measure from villages assessed to be at further risk. Key needs for them are water, medical support, counseling support, food and emergency shelter," the statement said.
The figures are based on feedback from local officials and the UN team and partners on the ground. There were about 300 homes in the village and a number of rescuers who had rushed from adjacent villages were also reported to be killed in subsequent slides, the statement said.
"Please keep in mind that the figures will remain proximate. Fear of a third land sliding has hampered the rescue team operation," it said.
"A memorial ceremony is planned for later today and the site is expected to be designated as a mass grave. Also, the second vice president (Mohammad Karim Khalili) is visiting today," it said.
All the relevant UN agencies together with the Afghan Red Crescent Society and NGO partners are already on the ground since yesterday afternoon and all necessary resources are being mobilized for further delivery and response Saturday and over the coming days, the statement added.
More than 710 villagers died in similar incident in northern Baghlan province in early 2012.
More than 2,500 feared dead following Afghan landslide: official
FAIZABAD, Afghanistan, May 2 (Xinhua) -- More than 2,500 people were feared dead in a landslide in the northern Afghan province of Badakhshan on Friday, the provincial governor said.
"We estimate that more than 2,500 were missing. It is feared that most of the missing people were died as more than 20 meters of debris covered the houses in a small village," Governor Shah Wali Adib told Xinhua. Full story