Aid Rushed to Afghanistan Landslide Site

Date Published: 
Friday, May 3, 2013

IOM teams in Afghanistan are rushing tents, blankets and other relief aid to the scene of yesterday’s devastating landslide in the country’s northeastern Badakhshan province. Reports from local authorities and IOM staff on the ground indicate that some 2,700 people are dead or missing in a single village, with over 14,000 people affected.

At least 300 houses in Abi-Barik village were obliterated in the landslide, which also damaged many acres of farmland and cut off local access to drinking water.

“Badakhshan is a remote, mountainous region of Afghanistan, which has seen many natural disasters,” said IOM Afghanistan Chief of Mission Richard Danziger. “But the scale of this landslide is absolutely devastating, with an entire village practically wiped away. Hundreds of families have lost everything and are in immense need of assistance to rebuild not just their houses but also their communities and their lives.”

An IOM team, working alongside the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority reached the affected village within hours of the disaster. Team members report that urgent support is needed for both the rescue operation and to assist families who were displaced from their homes to neighbouring villages.

As the village is located in a remote area, there are significant challenges in bringing heavy equipment and other supplies.

In spite of these challenges, aid supplies, including emergency tents, blankets and household supplies have been mobilized from IOM’s network of warehouses in Afghanistan. Seven hundred tents, 300 household kits and other lifesaving supplies have been prepared for an initial distribution within hours. These distributions will continue in the coming days in coordination with the Government of Afghanistan and humanitarian partners.

Assessments to determine the full extent of the damage in the area are ongoing, and IOM will continue responding to the needs of affected communities.

For more information please contact Matt Graydon at IOM Kabul, Email: mgraydon@iom.int, Tel: +93 794 100 546.