Deadly landslides in the Badakhshan province of Afghanistan have left more than 2,000 people dead, and authorities are now scrambling to help hundreds of families displaced by the disaster.
In addition to the thousands who lost their lives in the deadly mudslide, 700 families have fled their homes in fear of more landslides and the threat of flooding, according to an official from the Afghanistan Natural Disaster Management Authority who spoke to the Associated Press.
The mud and earth that swept through the village have made drainage nearly impossible, a rising concern as rain continued to fall throughout the weekend, said Mohammad Daim Kakar.
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Aid groups and the government have rushed to the remote area in northeastern Afghanistan bordering Tajikistan and China with food, shelter and water. But for those affected, help was slow to arrive.
“My family, my wife and eight children are alive, but have nothing to use as shelter. We have nothing to eat,” said Barat Bay, a 50-year-old farmer and father of eight. “We have passed the last two nights with our children at the top of this hill with no tent, no blanket.”
Kakar, who visited the area Sunday, acknowledged that aid had yet to reach some people but said their efforts were complicated by villagers from areas unaffected by the landslide also coming to claim the aid.
A spokesman for the International Organization of Migration, Matt Graydon, said the group is bringing solar-powered lanterns, blankets and shelter kits. He said after a visit to the area Sunday that some residents have gone to nearby villages to stay with family or friends while others have slept out in the open.
“Some people left with almost nothing,” Graydon said.
Sunday was declared an official day of mourning in Afghanistan.