Bodies Not Yet Recovered From Badakhshan Landslide

News - Afghanistan

Wednesday, 29 April 2015 18:14 Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 April 2015 20:22 Written by Saleha Soadat

The bodies of those killed in Monday's landslide in Badakhshan are yet to be retrieved, locals and Badakhshan representatives in Parliament complained Wednesday.

But National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) officials said efforts were underway to recover the bodies and rescue possible survivors despite difficulty in reaching the affected area.

Local officials suggest at least 55 people, most of them women and children, were killed in a landslide Monday night in Khowahan district, northeastern Badakhshan.

According to recent reports by local officials, the landslide engulfed about 100 houses at the area.

"20 of them [victims] are children, 25 women and the rest are men. They are still under the debris," said Abdul Raouf Enami, representative of Badakhshan in Parliament.

"I think it's very hard for the rescue team to go there, even I can say it is impossible," another representative Nilofar Ibrahimi said.

The NDMA officials also admitted the incident occurred in a remote area, making it hard for the rescuers to reach to the area.

"The affected area is about 200 kilometers away from the center of Badakhshan. It is located on the border areas, and is very hard to deliver assistance," deputy head of NDMA Mohammad Aslam Sayas.

However, aid agencies and the Ministry of Defense (MoD) officials said assistance has already been dispatched to the affected areas.

"So far, we have sent in [packages of] blankets, tents and other necessary items," said Fatima Gailani, head of Afghanistan Red Crescent Society (ARCS).

"Two military helicopters are ready to deliver the aid to Badakhshan," MoD deputy spokesman Dawlat Waziri said. "We are ready to help the affected families."

But residents and geologists criticized the government for not taking measures to prevent such fatal incidents. Located high above sea level, Badakhshan is a mountainous province where landslides caused by melting snow have been regular occurrences over the past few years.

Almost a year ago, 2,000 people were killed in a landslide in Argo district of the province.

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Source : tolonews[dot]com
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