Afghanistan landslide: 2,100 bodies found in the mud as officials call off search amid fears of a second deadly landslip

Rescuers have plucked 2,100 bodies from the mud

Afghan officials have called off the search for survivors buried under a landslide in the remote northeast of the country amid fears of a second imminent disaster.

More than 2,100 people from 300 families have died in the massive landslip and there are fears the unstable hillside above the site could cave in again, threatening rescue teams.

Villagers and police used basic digging tools to try and find survivors buried in up to 100 metres of mud – but the search was called off as daylight broke today.

Police colonel Abdul Qadeer Sayad said: “We have managed to get one excavator into the area, but digging looks hopeless.”

Barack Obama has said that NATO-led troops are on standby to assist in the search. But the Afghan government has not asked for their help, according to Reuters.

 

Rescuers have now turned their attention to helping over 4,000 people displaced by the tragedy by providing them with water, food and emergency shelter.

Hundreds of homes were destroyed in the landslide, which occurred at around 11am on the side of a mountain above the village of Ab Barak.

 

People were caught by a torrent of mud and debris as they tried to recover belongings and livestock after a smaller landslip a few hours earlier.

Those who were caught by the catastrophic landslip were from the village of Hobo Barik, about a third of which was wiped out.

A landslide in Baghlan province, also in northeastern Afghanistan, killed 71 people in 2012.

And in February 2010 more than 170 people were killed by an avalanche at the 12,700-foot-high (3,800-meter) Salang Pass, which is the major route through the Hindu Kush mountains that connects the capital to the north.

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