ARGO, Afghanistan, May 3 -- Up to 255 bodies were recovered and identified from Friday's massive landslide in northern Afghan province of Badakhshan, sources said on Saturday.
"A total of 255 bodies, including children and women, were found. They were identified," Provincial Director of Disaster Management Department Sayyed Abdullah Homayyon Dehqan told Xinhua at the site.
The incident occurred in Aab Bareek, a remote village in Argo district in the mountainous province with Faizabad city as its capital, 315 km northeast of Afghan capital of Kabul. The natural calamity was triggered by recent heavy rains.
More than 2,100 people were confirmed dead in the mudslide, the provincial government spokesman Ahmad Naweed Froutan told local media earlier on Saturday.
However, Dehqan did not disclose the exact number of deaths. Most of the bodies will be buried in a graveyard later Saturday, he said.
"Our estimates show that hundreds of people were buried under the mud and rubble. It has been very difficult to give you a clear number of deaths and missing now," the official said.
More than 4,500 villagers were evacuated to higher locations in the area surrounded by muddy hills. They are living in tents. The rescue teams and security forces are distributing food and clean water to them, he said.
"More than 1,000 houses exist in the village. Over 300 homes are buried. The rescue teams are in the fear of collapse of the mud at the site until now," he said.