Yemen Rockslide Toll Climbs to 43

From Associated Press

Workers pulled eight survivors from the rubble of their village Friday amid the moaning of others still trapped beneath a rockslide -- victims who are not expected to survive because falling rocks have slowed the rescue.

At least 43 people were killed in Wednesday’s slide, including eight family members whose bodies were recovered Friday, said Bakeel Mattari, a city council member.

Nearly 100 people remained trapped beneath the rubble.

The village, about 60 miles north of the Yemeni capital, Sana, was partially buried Wednesday night after the side of Dhafeer Mountain broke loose and crashed on the hamlet.

Rescue workers reported hearing victims moaning and crying for help as teams using shovels and a bulldozer dug into the mound of earth and rocks, security officer Ahmad Maqdishi said.

A World Health Organization official was pessimistic about saving more of the trapped.


“I don’t think those still buried are going to survive,” said Hashim Zain, the WHO representative at the scene. He said the rescue effort was being hampered as rocks continued to break loose and fall on the village.

Community leader Saleh Hamoud said Thursday that the remoteness of the village and the inexperience of rescue workers were also hampering the search effort.

Maqdishi said that 23 houses were destroyed and that residents had been evacuated from 150 for fear of a second slide.

The loss was enormous for some villagers.

“All my family has gone,” said Jamil Ahmed, who was away on a visit to Sana when the slide occurred.

For centuries, Yemenis have built their houses on the sides of mountains, sometimes carving homes out of the rocks.