Afghanistan Dwell Updates: At Least 1,000 Killed in Earthquake, Officers Say


Footage from the state-run Bakhtar information company confirmed injured residents being evacuated after a 5.9-magnitude earthquake hit a distant area of southeast Afghanistan close to the Pakistan border.Credit scoreCredit score…Bakhtar Information Company, through Related Press

KABUL, Afghanistan — Greater than 1,000 individuals had been killed and 1,600 others injured after a 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck a distant and mountainous area of southeastern Afghanistan close to the border with Pakistan early Wednesday, officers mentioned.

The quake struck about 28 miles southwest of the town of Khost, a provincial capital within the nation’s southeast, the US Geological Survey mentioned, and had a depth of about six miles.

Raees Hozaifa, the director of data and tradition within the japanese province of Paktika, mentioned that 1,000 individuals within the province had been killed and one other 1,500 injured. In Khost Province, Shabir Ahmad Osmani, the director of data and tradition, mentioned that 40 individuals had died and greater than 100 had been injured.

Search-and-rescue efforts had been persevering with, led by the Afghan Ministry of Protection, however wind and heavy rain had been stopping helicopters from touchdown and casualties had been prone to rise, the United Nations’ emergency response company mentioned.

A number of the areas hit by the earthquake are in distant, tough nation close to the Pakistani border and had been the scene of heavy combating earlier than and after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. Telecommunications are poor or nonexistent, making it exhausting to get a full accounting of the casualties.

Paktika is without doubt one of the nation’s most sparsely populated provinces and likewise one of many poorest, with residents in some areas residing in earthen houses. With rugged terrain and little land flat sufficient for farming, many individuals eke out a residing within the forests, illegally reducing bushes to promote as firewood.

Almost 2,000 houses had been destroyed, mentioned Ramiz Alakbarov, a deputy particular consultant for Afghanistan for the U.N. Afghan households are sometimes massive and a number of households typically reside collectively, he mentioned, which means the earthquake will doubtless displace many individuals.

Mohammad Almas, the pinnacle of help and appeals at Qamar, a charity in Afghanistan lively within the space, mentioned he anticipated the loss of life toll to be excessive, as a result of the affected areas are removed from hospitals and since the earthquake occurred at evening, when most individuals had been indoors sleeping.

As many as 17 members of the identical household had been killed in a single village when their residence collapsed, he mentioned; just one youngster survived. Mr. Almas, reached by cellphone from Pakistan, mentioned that greater than 25 villages had been nearly utterly destroyed, together with colleges, mosques and houses.

Sarhadi Khosti, 26, who lives within the Sperah district of Khost Province, mentioned he had been woken up by the earthquake after 1 a.m., and that a variety of homes — particularly these product of clay or wooden — had been utterly destroyed. He mentioned that helicopters had transported a few of the wounded to hospitals in Kabul and neighboring provinces.

“For now, we nonetheless are busy pulling the useless or injured from below the rubble,” he mentioned.

The quake struck about 300 miles north-northeast of the location of a lethal 6.4-magnitude earthquake in Pakistan in 2008, the usG.S. mentioned. Greater than 200 individuals had been reported killed on the time.

The earthquake was felt in Kabul, the Afghan capital, and throughout the northern a part of neighboring Pakistan, in keeping with a map that the European Mediterranean Seismological Heart posted on its web site. The usG.S. mentioned {that a} second quake, of 4.5 magnitude, struck about 30 miles southwest of Khost about an hour later.

Safiullah Padshah reported from Kabul, Afghanistan, and Mike Ives from Seoul. Isabella Kwai and Emma Bubola contributed reporting from London, and Salman Masood from Islamabad, Pakistan.

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