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© Andrew Quilty—Oculi for TIME
The search for survivors in the Argo district was hampered by poor weather and insufficient supplies
The May 2nd Afghanistan landslide in the Ab-e-Barak village in Badakhshan province that killed about 2,700 people and forced 4,000 to abandon their homes is considered the worst natural disaster to hit the country in nearly two decades. About 300 homes are thought to have been buried in up to 50 meters of mud. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, an additional 700 families have been displaced.

Days of torrential rains loosened almost half of a steep hill that faced the village. A section of land measuring dozens of meters wide broke away, sending tonnes of earth and stone onto the village below.

As 600 villagers rushed to help the buried victims, another torrent of mud crashed down and engulfed the rescuers in a more serious landslide.


Villagers are distressed and say their government has let them down. They do not have adequate shelter or food and are receiving little help to recover the remains of their loved ones.

Much aid has been sent to the area but is being held up in the nearby Tajikistan capital as officials cite security concerns as reasons for delay.

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© Andrew Quilty—Oculi for Time
Men gathered at the end of the day waiting to hear news from local officials about the delivery of assistance, May 3, 2014.
The Geneva-based International Organization for Migration halted rescue operations on Tuesday after police fired shots into the air when a fight broke out over food distribution.

A worker from the International Organization of Migration, Matt Graydon, described the scene as the event unfolded:

"It escalated quite quickly, with shots ringing out as I fled on foot with others into the hills. Eventually army soldiers and more police arrived to bring the situation under control", Graydon said.


About 100 soldiers from the Afghan army have been sent to the area.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai traveled to the region Wednesday morning to visit with the survivors and families affected.
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President Karzai visits the displaced survivors who were relocated from Abay Baryek village and spoke with them about their needs.
Karzai responded to concerns that the area would be left as a mass grave.

"My minister of rural development will remain here and will build you new shelters, provide you with food and water and won't leave until it is all done," he told hundreds of victims at the camp.

A villager pleaded with Karzai to do something about the ongoing suffering his family is enduring.

"I have lost six members of my family and please come to my tent and you will see that even the little babies do not have milk," he told the president.
Ab-e-Barak landslide
© Reuters
Displaced Afghans wait for aid near the site of a landslide at the Argo district in Badakhshan province May 5, 2014. As many as 2,700 people may be buried after a landslide in the Ab-e-Barak village in Badakhshan province in Afghanistan on May 2.
Relief workers are urging for victims to be moved to another area as they remain in danger of another landslide happening at any time due to the continual melting snow and heavy rain.

Afghanistan has endured years of conflict, most notably since the USA illegally invaded and occupied the country in 2001. Herat Provincial Governor Dr. Daud Saba estimates that 10,000 villages and their surrounding environments have been destroyed by the US contrived "war". Today, the situation is being compounded with the increase in earth changes like the recent landslide.

The Ab-e-Barak landslide started as a natural disaster but has turned into a humanitarian one from the lack of aid provided to it's victims by the government. The UN reports roughly 70,000 Afghans have been displaced by flooding in the last ten days alone.

Check the SOTT WorldView for 56 other reports of flooding that have occurred worldwide during the past month: