IOM aid rushed to Afghanistan landside site; Up to 2,700 feared dead

by IOM
Saturday, 3 May 2014 07:24 GMT

* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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.”

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 IOM Media officer in Kabul, Matt Graydon on +93794100546 (  or Hefazullah Hefaz in Badakhshan on +93799533588

Photos show IOM staff and local villagers at the scene of yesterday’s devastating earthquake in Badakhshan province. All photos taken by IOM on 2 May 2014 in Abi-Barik, Northern Afghanistan. No restrictions on use; please credit IOM.