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11:37 am
Mon May 5, 2014

In Afghanistan, Families Keep Searching For Landslide Victims

In in Badakhshan province, a very remote area of northern Afghanistan, people are still digging to try to find members of their families who have been missing since a massive landslide on Friday. The formal search for survivors ended Saturday.

At least 2,000 people were in their homes when a landslide covered the area in mud and rocks. Hundreds more are also missing after rushing to help with the rescue effort. They were caught in a second landslide.

The landslides were probably triggered by heavy rains that have fallen across Afghanistan in recent weeks. It was such a huge amount of earth, officials say it will be impossible to bring up all the bodies.

The BBC’s David Loyn reports on how the survivors are faring.

Note: This segment can be heard in the Here & Now podcast or with the WBUR mobile app.

Reporter

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Transcript

MEGHNA CHAKRABARTI, HOST:

It's HERE AND NOW. Let's look briefly now to Afghanistan, where people are still searching for family members who have been missing since a massive landslide on Friday.

At least 2,000 people were in their homes when a mountain collapsed and covered the area in mud and rocks. The formal search for survivors ended on Saturday, but hundreds more are also missing after rushing to help with the rescue effort. They were caught in a second landslide.

The landslide occurred in Badakhshan Province, a remote area of northern Afghanistan. And the BBC's David Loyn describes how survivors are faring.

DAVID LOYN: There is some shelter. Some tents have begun to arrive, and you can see some men on the bank over there who are just moving tent poles across trying to find a new patch, a flatter piece of ground for tents in safety away from the village.

There was just a short while ago a pretty tragic sort of scene here when men you can see the men on the bank up over there who had a quite an argument when - between each other about who was going to get a piece of bread. The police arrived with a sack bread, some local aid, and these men have not eaten for probably all of today. There's quite an argument between them about who should get that bread.

But these are the low numbers of tens, hundreds of people who have survived. Thousands of their neighbors and relatives are underneath the mud on the other side of the hill.

CHAKRABARTI: And the landslide was so large that Afghan officials say it will impossible to recover all of those bodies. The disaster was likely triggered by heavy rains that fell across Afghanistan in recent weeks.

ROBIN YOUNG, HOST:

Terrible story. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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