Mudslide Buries More Than 350 in Afghan Village

A landslide covered a village in Afghanistan, reportedly killing hundreds and leaving thousands missing.

Afghans search for survivors after a massive mudslide buried a village on May 2, 2014.

A mudslide overwhelmed a village in Afghanistan on Friday, killing more than 350 people, according to United Nations officials.

Thousands more are still missing, buried in the mudslide that struck the village, variously reported as Aab Barik or Hargu, in the Argo District of the remote Badakhshan Province in northeastern Afghanistan, near the border with Tajikistan.

"The foremost priority at the moment is saving as many lives as possible of those still beneath the rubble," said Mark Bowden, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Afghanistan, in a statement.

Among the dead and missing are villagers who went to help their neighbors after an initial mudslide, "but unfortunately the hill collapsed a second time," provincial governor Shah Waliullah Adib told the Guardian.

The May 2 landslide in Badakhshan Province covered much of one village.

The mudslide covered some homes with more than 33 feet (10 meters) of mud, trapping thousands inside. "With some areas still difficult to access, it may be some time yet until a clear picture of the full extent of the damage is known," says the United Nations statement.

Widespread flooding had recently gripped Afghanistan, killing 150 people earlier in the week, and may have led to the collapse of the hillside above the village.

"There have now been more Afghans killed through natural disasters in the past seven days than in all of 2013," says Bowden.

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