AAB BAREEK: Afghan officials yesterday said they were seeking to build new homes for hundreds of families displaced by a landslide that entombed a village, killing at least 300 people.
Also yesterday, presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani visited the scene in the north-eastern Badakhshan province, a mountainous and relatively peaceful region bordering Tajikstan, China and Pakistan.
Rival and frontrunner Abdullah Abdullah was due later yesterday night, officials said.
Following heavy rain on Friday, a torrent of mud and rocks swept down a deep valley, levelling the village of Aab Bareek.
The disaster has left at least 300 dead, according to local authorities, who warned that the toll could rise by hundreds more. Initial reports suggested that as many as 2,500 people may have died.
The landslide left around 700 people homeless, with some finding shelter in neighbouring villages and others sleeping in tents provided by humanitarian organisations.
Abdullah Homayun Dehqan, head of the provincial disaster management authority, said: “A commission has been established to look for lands to build houses for the affected families.
“We are in touch with the locals in adjacent villages, the government is even ready to buy lands for them so that they can move in.”
Ghani, the former finance minister, visited the area yesterday. He called on Afghan officials to take “immediate action” to boost the distribution of aid, and promised relay the demands of the affected to local and international organisations and governments.