Mudslide In Afghanistan Kills Over 2,000 People, Displaces Thousands more

On Friday night, an enormous mudslide in Afghanistan killed over 2,000 people in the country’s northeast. An additional 4,000 residents were displaced, and a local lawmaker said Saturday that there’s “no hope” for those still trapped under the mud. Officials are expected to convert the region into a mass grave.

The mudslide struck the remote village of Abi Barak around 1:00 PM local time, most likely due to heavy rainfall, and caused “almost half of the mountain” overlooking the village to simply collapse on top of it, according to The New York Times. The governor solicited shovels and volunteers to help dig for survivors, but the sheer thickness of the mud — as deep as 200 feet in some parts — makes the recovery effort extremely difficult, if not impossible.

“There is no hope for those buried under the mud to be rescued,” said Mohammad Zikeria Sawda, who represents the region in Parliament.

Relief efforts have thus focused on the people who lived on the perimeter of the site. A 60-ton food shipment arrived Saturday from the nearby Kunduz Province, while a delegation of Afghan officials presented displaced villagers with tents, blankets, and up to $1,000 cash for every dead family member. An additional 230 tons of wheat and flour has also been delivered to the region, according to the country’s second vice president.

“We can only help the displaced people,” said Badakshan provincial police chief Faziluddin Hayar. “Those trapped under the landslide and who have lost lives, it is impossible to do anything for them."