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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 December 2005, 21:57 GMT
Yemen landslide death toll rises
Villagers gather to survey the destruction in al-Dhafir, Yemen
Dozens of homes were flattened in the landslide
At least 56 bodies have been pulled from the rubble of a mountain village in Yemen, which was destroyed by a landslide on Thursday.

More than 50 people are still missing from al-Dhafir village, about 70km (40 miles) west of the capital Sanaa.

Eight survivors were found alive on Friday after some 700 soldiers and relief workers were sent to help with the rescue operation.

But rescuers say hopes of finding anyone else alive are fading.

Despite that, one relief official said operations would continue to find the missing.

About 25 houses were destroyed when part of the adjacent mountain broke loose as the village slept.

Some 150 homes were later evacuated amid fears of a second landslide.

"All my family has gone," Jamil Ahmed, who was in Sanaa when the landslide struck, told AP news agency.

Cause unclear

Rescuers and relatives used bulldozers, shovels and their bare hands in the search for those trapped under the rubble.

Cries for help could still be heard coming from beneath the flattened homes on Friday.

Map showing Yemen

But World Health Organisation representative Dr Hashim al-Zain said he was pessimistic about the chances of finding more survivors.

Small rockfalls were hampering the rescue efforts, he told the Associated Press news agency.

The cause of the landslide is still unclear. There were no reports of earthquakes or severe weather.

Landslides are uncommon in Yemen, but the country is prone to floods in spring and summer.


SEE ALSO:
Yemen landslide kills 30 people
29 Dec 05 |  Middle East
Country profile: Yemen
26 Oct 05 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Yemen
10 Dec 05 |  Country profiles



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