Rescue teams reach remote site of Afghanistan landslide

Rescue teams reach remote site of Afghanistan landslide
Rescue teams reach remote site of Afghanistan landslide

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - A general view shows snow laden terrain at Keraman village in the Dara district of Panjshir province on February 19, 2024. A landslide caused by heavy snowfall has killed 25 people and injured eight others in the eastern Afghan province of Nuristan, a disaster management ministry spokesman said on February 19. — AFP pic

KABUL, Feb 20 — Rescue teams today reached the remote valley where a landslide buried dozens of people in eastern Afghanistan, a provincial official said, after responders were slowed by snow and blocked roads.

Snowfall overnight Sunday caused rubble, earth and snow to rip through the village of Nakre in mountainous Nuristan province, killing at least 25 people.

“There were no facilities yesterday but today there is the military’s equipment,” said provincial information and culture head Jamiullah Hashimi.

“The rescue operation might speed up. The biggest problem is that the fallen rocks are huge and the area is mountainous,” he told AFP.

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Images circulating on social media from the site showed dozens of men standing between giant fallen boulders, using their bare hands to remove rocks and dig out the piled earth.

Disaster ministry spokesman Janan Sayeq said his ministry, the public works ministry and non-governmental groups had reached the area with medical teams and other equipment.

On Monday, he put the death toll at 25 people but warned it could rise.

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Hashimi said 16 bodies had been pulled from the rubble and around ten more people were still buried, presumed dead.

Another 10 people had been injured and about 20 houses were damaged or destroyed, he added.

Nuristan province, which borders Pakistan, is mostly covered by mountainous forests and hugs the southern end of the Hindu Kush mountain range.

Mountainous areas of Afghanistan have long been vulnerable to landslides and floods, but in recent years risks have increased due to deforestation and drought, worsened by climate change, experts say. — AFP

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