Thursday, July 7, 2022

Afghanistan quake kills 1000 people; 1500 injured

A powerful earthquake struck a rugged, mountainous region of eastern Afghanistan early Wednesday, killing at least 1,000 people and injuring 1,500 more in the country’s deadliest quake in two decades, the state-run news agency reported. Officials warned that the already grim toll may still rise.
In the remote area near the Pakistani border, residents searched for survivors and the dead by digging with their bare hands through the rubble of collapsed stone and mudbrick houses, according to footage shown by the news agency Bakhtar. It was not immediately clear if major rescue equipment was being sent or even if it could reach the area. The 6.1 magnitude quake had its epicenter in Paktika province.
The extent of destruction among the villages tucked among the mountains was still not known.
Rutted roads — difficult to pass in the best of times — may have sustained significant damage, and a UNICEF official said landslides from recent rains have made access even more difficult.
At least 2,000 homes were destroyed in the region, where on average every home has seven or eight people living in it, UN Deputy Special Representative to Afghanistan Ramiz Alakbarov told reporters.
The disaster posed a major test for Afghanistan’s Taliban government, which seized power nearly 10 months ago as the US and its NATO allies were carrying out their withdrawal from the country and has been largely shunned by the world community since.


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