Authorities in Afghanistan say up to 100 people are believed to have been killed Monday after two earthquakes rocked the northeastern part of the country causing deadly landslides that buried more than 20 homes.
“This is a human tragedy. An entire village was lost,” Mahmood Haqmal, the governor of Baghlan province told the BBC.
By noon on June 12, the bodies of two dead women had been recovered and about 20 people had been hospitalized with injuries.
The two quakes, measuring magnitudes of 5.4 and 5.7, struck the region a day earlier, bringing down mud and rocks on the remote mountain settlement. At least 100 are feared to have been buried alive in the tragic disaster.
“We need bulldozers or other machinery to remove all this earth and get the bodies out, or the survivors if there are any,” Jawed Basharat, a spokesman for the police chief of Baghlan province in northeast Afghanistan, told the Associated Press.
Basharat added that rescue teams dispatched from the capital Kabul arrived Monday, but returned when they realized there was nothing they could do.
“The ambulances were there, but there was no one to put in the ambulances,” Basharat said. “We will hold a prayer for the victims.”
The United Nations said it would assist local Afghan officials with rescue efforts, according to the IBTtimes.
The Hindustan Times reports that 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.
A 2002 quake in the same area killed more than 2,000 people.
More on the recent deadly Afghan earthquake in the video below: