WorldPowerful earthquake in Afghanistan leaves more than 1,000 dead...

Powerful earthquake in Afghanistan leaves more than 1,000 dead and hundreds injured

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More than 1,000 people were killed and hundreds injured in a powerful earthquake that hit eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, according to the authorities, who fear a higher balance.

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The magnitude 5.9 earthquake occurred in a remote area in the east of the country, near the border with Pakistan, where the population already lives in very precarious conditions.

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The balance of the tragedy was increasing rapidly and the country’s supreme leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada, warned that the figures could be even higher.

The earthquake occurred at a depth of 10 km, around 01:30 on Wednesday, in an area of ​​difficult access in the east of the country, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), which added that a second tremor of magnitude 4.5 shook almost the same place at the same time.

A man stands next to a collapsed mud-brick house after an earthquake in Gayan district, Paktika province. (BAKHTAR NEWS AGENCY / AFP).

“We ask aid agencies to provide immediate assistance to earthquake victims to avoid a humanitarian disaster”deputy government spokesman Bilal Karimi urged on Twitter.

LOOK: The Taliban again force Afghan women to cover themselves from the face to the feet with the burqa

According to Yaqub Manzor, a tribal official from Paktikamany wounded came from the district of Giyanin the province, and were transported in ambulances and helicopters.

“Local markets are closed and people rushed (to help) to the affected areas”he told AFP by phone.

In social networks you see photos of collapsed houses in the streets of a town, in this poor and remote rural region. And in a video you can see residents transporting the wounded to a helicopter.

“Much of the region is mountainous and getting around is difficult. It will take time to transport the dead and the wounded.”explained the Minister of Natural Disasters, Mohamad Abas Akhund.

The epicenter of the earthquake in Afghanistan.  (EFE/EPA/USGS).

The epicenter of the earthquake in Afghanistan. (EFE/EPA/USGS).

International aid

The country’s rescue services, long limited in numbers and capacity, are ill-adapted to deal with natural disasters of this magnitude.

“The government does the best within its capabilities,” tweeted Anas Haqqani, another senior Taliban official.

“We hope that the international community and humanitarian organizations will also help people in this terrible situation,” he added.

The earthquake was felt in several provinces in the region, and also in the capital, Kabul, located about 200 km north of the epicenter of the earthquake.

It was also noted in neighboring Pakistan, where one person died and several houses were damaged.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said he was “deeply saddened” by this tragedy and assured that the country’s authorities were working to provide their support to their Afghan counterparts.

The UN and the European Union (EU) quickly showed their mobilization.

“Agency assessment teams are already deployed to several affected areas,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a tweet in Afghan.

the one sent for Afghanistan of the EU, Tomas Niklasson, affirmed that the bloc “follows the situation (…) and is ready to coordinate and provide emergency aid.”

The pope expressed his solidarity with the victims of the earthquake and said he hoped that “with everyone’s help, the suffering of the beloved Afghan people can be alleviated.”

frequent earthquakes

Afghanistan frequently suffers from earthquakes, especially in the Hindu Kush massif, straddling Afghanistan and Pakistan, which is located at the junction of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.

These catastrophes can be especially devastating due to the poor resistance of Afghan rural houses.

In October 2015, a powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake shook the Hindu Kush mountains, causing a total of more than 380 deaths in the two countries.

The Afghan victims included 12 girls, swept up in panic to try to get out of their shaky school.

Since the Taliban came to power in August, Afghanistan has been going through a serious financial and humanitarian crisis, caused by the blockade of millions of assets abroad and the suspension of international aid, which had sustained the country for two decades and which now It arrives with dropper.

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Source: Elcomercio

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