Afghanistan: Afghan Quake Update
An Afghan village where more than 70 people are believed to have been buried in an earthquake triggered landslide could be declared a mass grave,an official said on Wednesday.
Two shallow tremors less than half an hour apart on Monday unleashed a deluge of rock and earth that smashed into the remote village of Mullah Jan,in the mountainous Hindu Kush region.
Villagers say upto 71 people,all womenandchildren,were trapped in the landslide,and a disaster management official has described the chances of anyone surviving as slim or non-existent.
Mechanical diggers were at the site trying to clear rubble to find bodies or survivors, but Nasir Kohzad,the head of the natural disaster agency of Baghlan province, saidthescaleofthe task made it difficult.
Partofa mountain has collapsed on a part of Mullah Jan village and there is over 60 metres of dirt to remove, he explained. Wielding shovels,nearby villagers and Afghan policemen dug into the dirt alongside three bulldozers as they uncovered beams of houses crushed under the weight of the landslide.
Only three bodies have been recovered from Mullah Jan,Kohzad said,while a fourth was found in a neighbouring district. MullahJan,thechief of the eponymous village, suggested declaring the site a mass grave and leaving the other victims bodies to rest, Kohzad said. The US Geological Survey said one earthquake with a magnitude of 5.4 struck the region on Monday morning,followed by a magnitude 5.7 quake. Both caused buildings to shake in the Afghan capital,Kabul,190 km to the south. Northern Afghanistan and Pakistan are frequently hit by earthquakes,especially around the Hindu Kush range,which lies near the collision of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.
Reference: Pune Mirror