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Afghanistan: Search for landslide survivors ends; focus now on 4,000 displaced people

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Afghanistan: Search for landslide survivors ends; focus now on 4,000 displaced people

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Rescuers in Afghanistan have ended their search, saying there is no hope of finding survivors of a double landslide that may have killed more than 2,000 villagers.

The United Nations says the focus now is on helping the more than 4,000 people displaced by the disaster in northeastern Badakhshan province.

Their main needs are water, medicine, food and emergency shelter,

“I am one of the survivors who came out of the mud,” said one man, Jaan Mohammad.

“Right now, we need tents so we can be sheltered from the rain. Around 700 homes are under threat of flooding and landslides. There are fears of flooding in the area because there are four valleys from where water can flow into here. If it does, the whole village will be under water.”

Officials have also expressed concern that the unstable hillside above the disaster zone may cave in again, threatening the homeless as well as UN and local rescue teams working there.

The number killed has been put at between a few hundred to well over 2,000 with information hard to come by in the remote, impoverished province, bordering Tajikistan.

Triggered by torrential rain, part of a mountain collapsed on Friday morning as people were trying to recover their belongings after a smaller landslip a few hours earlier.

The tragedy has transformed what once was a bustling village into a mass grave.