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Red Cross prepared to send aid for Afghan landslide relief

TAIPEI -- The Red Cross Society of the Republic of China (Taiwan) said Sunday it is ready to offer support to Afghanistan following massive landslides in the Central Asian country Friday that authorities fear have buried at least 2,000 people.

“We have contacted the secretary-general of the Afghan Red Crescent Society to show our concern,” said Lisa Hsu, director of communications and development at the Taiwan Red Cross Society.

Hsu said her group will be ready to provide assistance as soon as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies announces the relief supplies needed. That announcement could come over the next few days.

The director said her group will be in close contact with the federation to offer assistance from Taiwan.

“Places to dwell, blankets, personal hygiene products, water containers, utensils and food are probably among the most needed items for the 700 families that have been displaced by the landslides,” she said.

Local aid has already been sent out to help.

The Afghan Red Crescent Society has dispatched emergency response and medical teams to the disaster sites and set up tents for displaced families, the Taiwan Red Cross Society said.

A first shipment of relief supplies has also been transported to the affected areas, according to the group.

Days of heavy rain triggered two massive landslides in Badakhshan province in northeastern Afghanistan.

The first landslide swallowed hundreds of homes, followed by the second, which buried hundreds more people from a nearby village who had rushed to the disaster site to help.

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