Earthquake In Afghanistan Causes Villagers Trapped In Landslide

Some 70 to 100 villagers in Afghanistan, who were trapped in a landslide caused by two earthquakes on Monday, are feared dead after about 25 mud hut homes were completely buried.

Provincial Gov. Abdul Majid said that two women’s bodies had already been pulled from the rubble from the landslide in the Baghlan province.

A report indicated that the mud and rock landslide was so deep in the remote mountain village of Sayi Hazara, that shovels were useless to the rescuers trying to find survivors.

“We need bulldozers or other machinery to remove all this earth and get the bodies out, or the survivors if there are any,” said Jawed Basharat, a spokesman for the provincial police chief.

Local residents who knew the area informed authorities that between 25 and 30 homes were completely lost in the landslide. Though located only 25 miles from the provincial capital of Pul-e-Khumri, the terrain makes it a two hour trip to the landslide area.

The U.S. Geological Survey indicated that a 5.4 magnitude earthquake first hit the Hindu Kush region Monday morning with a larger 5.7 magnitude quake occurring shortly after that. Both quakes caused buildings to shake in Kabul.

Without providing details on how, the U.N. said it was working with the local authorities to try and aid in a rescue effort. It was reported that a police group from Pul-e-Khumri had arrived to try and help dig out survivors but then left after they realized their was nothing they could do.

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