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 / Updated  / Source: NBC News

KABUL, Afghanistan — At least 52 people were killed when a landslide wiped out an entire village in northern Afghanistan early Tuesday, the local governor told NBC News. Nearly half of the victims were children.

District Governor Ghufran Zaki said the landslide hit just after midnight local time and sent a cascade of mud ripped through the buildings in Badakshan Province’s mountainside village of Jurm Ulya.

He said 22 children, 25 women, and five men had been killed.

"We do not have any equipment to rescue any possible survivors buried under a huge mountain of mud," Zaki said, adding that all 97 homes in the village were destroyed.

Zaki told NBC News that many villagers had already left the town amid fears of a landslide after some noticed cracks had developed in the upper part of the valley following heavy rainfall.

"The death toll would have been much higher if the villagers had not left," Zaki said.

- Fazul Rahim

What Causes Landslides?

Dec. 16, 201400:43