Hundreds of people are feared dead after dual landslides came down on 300 homes in a remote village in Afghanistan, local officials report.
CNN reports that according to Badakhshan province governor Shah Waliullah Adeeb, the first landslide took place before noon, and the second landslide happened shortly after -- burying as many as 600 people who had come to the village of Hobo Barik in search of survivors of the first event (Reuters has since reported that those who went to the site after the first landslide were residents returning to their homes to recover livestock and belongings. The outlet did not report how many people did so.) The disaster was likely triggered by heavy rains.
Adeeb said that rescue teams are working to help free survivors buried in the rubble, but that they are short on supplies. "It's physically impossible right now," he said, adding, "we don't have enough shovels; we need more machinery." He added that he does not think it is likely that people buried by the landslides will be found alive.
It's unclear how many people may have been killed or injured in the landslides, but casualties could top 2,000, per CNN:
Local officials estimate that the 300 abodes would have been home to roughly five to seven people each, Adeeb said. It wasn't clear exactly how many people were buried in the slides, and no official death toll was immediately available.
The BBC notes that because most Afghans have Friday off, it is likely that many people were home when the landslides happened. Afghan news agency Pajhwok offers a similar estimate to CNN:
And Agence France-Presse is reporting at least 350 dead:
BREAKING... At least 350 dead in Afghan landslide: UN. @AFP— AFP South Asia (@AFPSouthAsia) May 2, 2014
Badakhshan, a mountainous province bordered by Tajikistan, Pakistan and China is one of the most remote in the country and one of the few to have been largely spared from insurgent attacks.