Dozens including children buried in massive landslide in Kyrgyzstan - report (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
The landslide hit several houses in a village in the Uzgen district of the southern Osh region early on Saturday. The victims, who were in their houses at the time, are believed to be buried under mud and rubble, the ministry added.
"All 24 citizens of Kyrgzystan, nine of them children, died under the landslide in the south of the country," Emergencies Ministry spokeswoman Elmira Sheripova told AFP.
So far no survivors or bodies of the killed have been recovered. On Saturday evening, the search was suspended until morning.
Up to 180 rescuers, 100 troops, 50 police officer and 15 medical workers are taking part in the rescue operation at the site, the ministry said in a statement.
Emergencies Minister Kubatbek Boronov flew to the site of the incident after President Almazbek Atambayev ordered emergency services to take "all possible measures to alleviate the consequences of the landslide and give all necessary help to the families of the dead.”
Atambayev called upon the villagers to leave their homes amid the extreme weather conditions. He said that the villagers hadn’t listened to the call of the authorities to evacuate the area several days before the tragedy.
“The biggest pain in all the trouble that has befallen us is (the fact that) 2 or 3 days ago our compatriots living there did not listen to the specialists and refused to resettle,” said Atambayev.
”I appeal to my compatriots. A person's life, especially the life of a child, is much more precious than any property, any livestock. You cannot put any sort of property above life!”
Amid fear of other landslides, some 40 families who live in a nearby village will be evacuated to safety where the Kyrgyz Red Crescent is ready to provide people with clothes and other necessities.
President Atambayev declared Sunday April 30 a day of mourning for the victims of the landslide.