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Afghanistan Live Updates: At Least 1,000 Killed in Earthquake, Official Media Says

Credit score…Bakhtar Information Company, by way of Related Press

KABUL, Afghanistan — At the least 1,000 individuals have been killed and greater than 1,500 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, the state-run Bakhtar information company mentioned.

The quake struck about 28 miles southwest of the town of Khost, a provincial capital within the nation’s southeast, the United States Geological Survey said, and had a depth of about six miles. Raees Hozaifa, the director of knowledge and tradition within the japanese province of Paktika, mentioned the earthquake was felt throughout a number of provinces.

A few of the areas hit by the earthquake are in distant tough nation close to the Pakistani border that have been the scene of heavy combating earlier than and after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, and telecommunications are poor or nonexistent, making it laborious to get a full accounting of the casualties. An assist official mentioned that he anticipated the variety of useless to be a lot larger.

Mohammad Almas, the top of assist and appeals at Qamar, a charity in Afghanistan energetic within the space, mentioned he anticipated the demise toll to be excessive, as the world is way from hospitals and since the earthquake occurred at night time, when most individuals have been indoors sleeping.

As many as 17 members of the identical household have been killed in a single village when their house collapsed, he mentioned; just one little one survived. He mentioned that greater than 25 villages have been virtually fully destroyed, together with faculties, mosques and houses.

Within the Sperah district of Khost Province, northeast of Paktika Province, the earthquake killed a minimum of 40 individuals and wounded 90 others, Shabir Ahmad Osmani, Khost’s provincial director of knowledge and tradition, mentioned by phone.

Rafiullah Rahel, the top of the well being division in Paktika Province, mentioned that 381 individuals have been useless and 205 injured in that province.

It was not instantly clear whether or not the figures given by the provincial officers have been early estimates, or if massive numbers of casualties had been recorded elsewhere.

The Bakhtar information company posted video footage on Twitter of a helicopter touchdown in what it mentioned was a quake-hit space. It mentioned that ambulances have been transporting the injured to hospitals.

Sarhadi Khosti, 26, who lives within the Sperah district, mentioned he had been woken up by the earthquake after 1 a.m., and that a lot of homes — particularly these fabricated from soil or wooden — had been fully destroyed. He mentioned that helicopters had transported a number 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.

Credit score…Bakhtar Information Company, by way of Related Press

Dr. Ramiz Alakbarov, a deputy particular consultant for Afghanistan for the United Nations, wrote on Twitter that the group was assessing the state of affairs within the aftermath of the earthquake. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director basic of the World Well being Group, said on Twitter that the company would “proceed supporting individuals in want throughout the nation.”

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

The earthquake was felt in Kabul, the Afghan capital, and throughout the northern a part of neighboring Pakistan, according to a map that the European Mediterranean Seismological Middle 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.

The earthquake was felt in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, and Peshawar, the provincial capital of northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, the place panicked individuals rushed out of their homes, reciting verses from the Quran.

Nevertheless, no large-scale injury or casualties have been reported, in keeping with the provincial catastrophe administration authority. Earthquake jolts have been additionally felt in some elements of Punjab Province.

Rescue officers mentioned one individual was killed due to a roof collapse after the earthquake within the Lakki Marwat district of the northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. A number of mud homes have been additionally reported to be broken within the province, which borders Afghanistan.

Prime Minister Shebaz Sharif of Pakistan said he was “deeply grieved” to study in regards to the earthquake. In an announcement, Pakistan’s International Ministry mentioned that it was working to offer assist to Afghanistan. “The individuals of Pakistan stand in sturdy solidarity with their Afghan brethren on this troublesome time,” the assertion mentioned.

Mr. Sharif mentioned he had issued directives to the Pakistani authorities to offer needed reduction help to the federal government of Afghanistan. “We’re deeply saddened by the injury brought on by the earthquake, particularly within the Paktika area,” he mentioned.

Credit score…/EPA, by way of Shutterstock

For civilians in Afghanistan, earthquakes are yet another risk in a country traumatized by decades of war. Most of the nation’s densely populated cities and cities sit on or close to a number of geological faults, a few of which might produce earthquakes of as much as 7 in magnitude.

The earthquake on Wednesday, in keeping with the usG.S. appeared to originate from motion between the India and Eurasia tectonic plates.

The company mentioned in a 2022 report that greater than 7,000 individuals had died previously decade due to earthquakes, a median of 560 individuals a 12 months. In a single space between Kabul and Jalalabad, it estimated that an earthquake of seven.6 would have an effect on seven million individuals.

In January, two earthquakes struck a remote, mountainous area of western Afghanistan, killing a minimum of 27 individuals and destroying a whole lot of properties, officers mentioned on the time. One other earthquake in 2015 killed greater than 300 individuals in northern Afghanistan and Pakistan and destroyed hundreds of properties.

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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