A huge landslide swept over houses in a village in Kyrgyzstan on Saturday killing four people, with more than 20 others believed to be trapped under the debris, authorities said.
The landslide hit the village of Ayu in the Osh region of the mountainous Central Asian country at around 0720 am (0120 GMT), the emergencies ministry said in a statement.
It said four people were dead, and more than 20 are believed to be under the mass of debris estimated at one million cubic metres.
The emergencies minister, Kubatbek Boronov, flew to the scene on the orders of President Almazbek Atambayev to take “all possible measures to alleviate the consequences of the landslide and give all necessary help to families of the dead”, said a statement on the president’s website.
The landslide is believed to have covered 11 houses, four of which were empty, Boronov was quoted as saying by local media.
He added that the rescue operation was hindered by the large volume of debris and the risk of the landslide moving further.
Ninety-five percent of Kyrgyzstan’s territory is mountainous. A landslide in the country’s south in 2004 killed 33 people