Rockfall set off by quakes kills scores in northern Afghanistan

Story highlights

  • Two earthquakes struck the area in quick succession
  • Bulldozers are working to recover bodies from the rubble
  • The provincial governor says it is unlikely there are any survivors

A landslide set off by earthquakes has killed scores of people in a remote area of northern Afghanistan after rocks crushed their mud houses, a local official said Tuesday.

A 5.4 magnitude quake on Monday morning in Baghlan Province was followed less than half an hour later by a 5.7 magnitude one in the same area, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The tremors dislodged rocks on the side of a mountain in the district of Burka, bringing them crashing down on houses below and killing between 80 and 90 people, said Munshi Majid, the governor of Baghlan.

Two bulldozers are working to recover the bodies of the dead and clear the rubble, he said.

Majid will travel to the area with a delegation from Kabul. He said that if it's not possible to dig out all the bodies from under the rockfall, the area will become the burial site for the victims, and funeral prayers will be performed on site.

He said it was unlikely that there were any survivors from the disaster.

Two other districts in Baghlan were also affected by the quake: Jilga and Nahrin.