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Afghanistan mourns landslide victims

By Susanna Capelouto , CNN
updated 4:03 AM EDT, Mon May 5, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: TV and radio suspend entertainment programming to mourn victims of landslides
  • The site in Badakhshan province has been declared a mass grave
  • Authorities are now scrambling to help 4,000 survivors and evacuees
  • More rain in the forecast creates fear there may be another landslide

(CNN) -- Sunday is a day of mourning in Afghanistan for the victims of two landslides that turned a village into a mass grave last week.

TV and radio stations suspended the broadcast of entertainment programming to commemorate Friday's tragedy.

The first landslide, triggered by heavy rain, swallowed 300 to 400 homes in the Argo district of Badakhshan province in northeastern Afghanistan, where an estimated 2,700 people lived, authorities said.

When as many as 600 people from a nearby village came to help dig people out, another landslide swept through, burying most, if not all, of the rescuers, according to provincial governor Shah Waliullah Adeeb.

The governor's office said at least 2,000 people died in all.

Efforts are now focused on about 4,000 survivors and evacuees. United Nations humanitarian groups are rounding up food, water and medical supplies. A NATO team is sending a C-130 transport plane from Kabul airport with supplies, including tents and blankets, officials say.

Afghans are also donating to charities to help the victims. Hamim Jalalzai, an Afghan journalist, said on Facebook that he was part of a group of people who went from shop to shop in Kabul, taking up donations.

Meteorologists warn that potential rain forecast for Monday and Tuesday could further hamper rescue efforts and trigger another landslide.

Michael Martinez, Yousuf Basil and Qadir Sediqi contributed to this story.

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