Afghan quakes: Landslide killed 80, says governor

Afghans stand at the site after an earthquake hit Baghlan province, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, June 11, 2012 Only one house remains in the village following the landslide trigged by earthquakes on Monday

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More than 80 people are believed to have been killed in a landslide triggered by two quakes in northern Afghanistan on Monday, officials say.

Part of a mountain collapsed, burying an entire village, according to the governor of Baghlan province.

Officials say bulldozers are there to recover the dead. Reports suggest only two bodies have been found so far.

Start Quote

The mountain was too big and strong and the houses were made of mud ... There is silence and silence alone.”

End Quote Haji Wakil Baghlan Provincial Council Member

The UN says it is working with the authorities in the area to determine what aid is needed.

Baghlan governor Munshi Majeed told the BBC's Bilal Sarwary he fears there is little chance of finding survivors from the 23 houses that were buried. He said only one house remained standing.

"This is a human tragedy. An entire village was lost," he said.

"Two bulldozers are now there to recover the dead bodies but the amount of stones and debris that has hit the village makes the chances of survivors very slim.

"We have seen body parts in some of the areas. Villagers worked throughout yesterday and last night. No human noise or sound has been heard."

Rescue

One resident, Abdul Basir, said he had pulled his own family from the rubble.

"I was far away from my home. Then I rushed back, and I saw my kids looking out of the rubble, so I took them away. Thank God they are alive."

Baghlan Provincial Council Member Haji Wakil told the BBC: "The mountain was too big and strong and the houses were made of mud ... There is silence and silence alone."

Provincial disaster management officials told the BBC on Monday that all of Baghlan province had been struck by the quake, but five districts in particular were especially badly hit.

But on Tuesday, the scale of the damage became clear.

Map

The first quake had a magnitude of 5.4 and a second of about the same strength hit the same area minutes later.

The tremors could be felt in the capital, Kabul, 170km (105 miles) away.

In 2002, a quake in the same province killed more than 2,000 people.

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