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

A photograph offered by the state-run information company Bakhtar of destruction brought on by an earthquake in the province of Paktika, jap Afghanistan, on Wednesday.Credit score…Bakhtar Information Company, through Related Press

KABUL, Afghanistan — At 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 stated.

The quake struck about 28 miles southwest of town of Khost, a provincial capital in the nation’s southeast, the USA Geological Survey stated, and had a depth of about six miles. Raees Hozaifa, the director of data and tradition in the jap province of Paktika, stated the earthquake was felt throughout a number of provinces.

A number of the areas hit by the earthquake are in distant tough nation close to the Pakistani border that have been the scene of heavy preventing earlier than and after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, and telecommunications are poor or nonexistent, making it exhausting to get a full accounting of the casualties. An help official stated that he anticipated the variety of lifeless to be a lot increased.

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

As many as 17 members of the identical household have been killed in one village when their dwelling collapsed, he stated; just one baby survived. He stated that greater than 25 villages have been virtually utterly destroyed, together with faculties, mosques and houses.

Within the Sperah district of Khost Province, northeast of Paktika Province, the earthquake killed at the least 40 individuals and wounded 90 others, Shabir Ahmad Osmani, Khost’s provincial director of data and tradition, stated by phone.

Rafiullah Rahel, the top of the well being division in Paktika Province, stated that 381 individuals have been lifeless 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 stated was a quake-hit space. It stated that ambulances have been transporting the injured to hospitals.

Sarhadi Khosti, 26, who lives in the Sperah district, stated he had been woken up by the earthquake after 1 a.m., and that quite a lot of homes — particularly these made from soil or wooden — had been utterly destroyed. He stated that helicopters had transported among the wounded to hospitals in Kabul and neighboring provinces.

“For now, we nonetheless are busy pulling the lifeless or injured from beneath the rubble,” he stated.

Evacuating an injured particular person in Paktika Province.Credit score…Bakhtar Information Company, through 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 in the aftermath of the earthquake. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director common 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 location of a lethal 6.4-magnitude earthquake in Pakistan in 2008, the usG.S. stated. Greater than 200 individuals have 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 accordance with a map that the European Mediterranean Seismological Middle posted on its web site. The usG.S. stated {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 accordance with the provincial catastrophe administration authority. Earthquake jolts have been additionally felt in some components of Punjab Province.

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

Prime Minister Shebaz Sharif of Pakistan said he was “deeply grieved” to study concerning the earthquake. In a press release, Pakistan’s Overseas Ministry stated that it was working to offer assist to Afghanistan. “The individuals of Pakistan stand in robust solidarity with their Afghan brethren in this troublesome time,” the assertion stated.

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

A picture offered by the USA Geological Survey exhibits the placement of the earthquake, which was centered about 28 miles southwest of Khost, in Paktika Province.Credit score…/EPA, through Shutterstock

For civilians in Afghanistan, earthquakes are yet one more danger in a rustic traumatized by a long time of battle. Most of the nation’s densely populated cities and cities sit on or close to a number of geological faults, a few of which may produce earthquakes of as much as 7 in magnitude.

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

The company stated in a 2022 report that greater than 7,000 individuals had died in the previous decade due to earthquakes, a mean of 560 individuals a yr. 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 distant, mountainous space of western Afghanistan, killing at the least 27 individuals and destroying tons of of properties, officers stated on the time. One other earthquake in 2015 killed greater than 300 individuals in northern Afghanistan and Pakistan and destroyed 1000’s 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.

— Safiullah Padshah and Mike Ives

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