Four killed in landslide in northern Afghanistan

April 12, 2014 - 1:15:10 pm

KABUL: A landslide triggered by heavy rains and a small earthquake swept through two villages in northern Afghanistan killing four people and destroying around 100 houses, officials said Saturday. 

The natural disaster occurred overnight in the Rustaq district of northern Takhar province, about 300 kilometres or 190 miles north-east of the capital Kabul, police spokesman Abdul Khalil Aseer said.

"Four civilians three men and a woman were killed as a result of landslide, heavy rains and an earthquake in two remote villages of Rustaq district," on the outskirt of northern Takhar province, he said.

According to the United States Geological Survey, a minor 4.1-magnitude quake struck northeast Afghanistan at 2:30 am local time or 2220 GMT Friday at a depth of 203 kilometres.

The death toll might increase as Afghan police forces head to the scene, Aseer said.

Sunatullah Taimoor, a spokesman for the governor of Takhar, confirmed the death toll.

"Around 100 houses were destroyed in last night's landslide," he said, adding residents had climbed to higher ground for safety.

Landslides sometimes occur during the spring rainy season in the country's mountainous north, with th flimsy mud houses built in the area often unable to withstand them. (AFP)