More than 1,000 killed and 1,500 injured in 5.9 earthquake in Afghanistan

More than 1,000 people have been killed in an earthquake in eastern Afghanistan, the largest natural disaster since the Taliban came to power. More than 1,500 people have also been injured by the 5.9 earthquake and the search for survivors continues.

“A total of 920 people were killed and 610 injured” by the quake that struck two provinces in eastern Afghanistan, bordering Pakistan, Deputy Minister for Disaster Management and Response Mawlavi Sharfuddin Muslim said earlier in the day.

The quake was followed by a 4.5 aftershock. As reported by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the quake struck about 46 kilometers from Khost, one of the hardest-hit cities.

The Afghan Ministry of Disaster Management and Response, Mohammad Nasim Haqqani, specified that the most affected province was Paktika, followed by Khost and Nangarhar.

The Taliban government assured that it is using its resources in rescue operations and has asked for help from humanitarian organizations in the country. The death toll is likely to rise, they said.

“Last night’s earthquake has caused personal and financial losses to the people of Paktika and Khost. May Allah the Almighty grant paradise to the martyrs, speedy recovery to the injured and patience to the bereaved families. The Government is working within its means. We hope the international community and relief agencies will also help our people in this desperate situation,” Taliban leader Anas Haqqani posted on Twitter.

The International Red Cross and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) announced the immediate dispatch of assistance to the affected areas.

USGS Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response report
USGS Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response report

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