According to disaster management experts, the death toll from the earthquake that struck Afghanistan on Wednesday has reached 1,000, with more than 600 people injured. As news from isolated mountain communities trickles in, the death toll is anticipated to rise.
After the magnitude 6.1 earthquake, homes were reduced to rubble and people covered in blankets lay on the ground, according to images posted on Afghan media.
Photos revealed that there were still individuals trapped in remote locations and beneath the debris. Rescue efforts, according to health and humanitarian personnel, were hampered by challenging circumstances, including as heavy rains, landslides, and the fact that many settlements were tucked away in difficult-to-reach mountainside regions.
“There are still many bodies buried beneath the ground. The Islamic Emirate’s rescue teams have come, and they are attempting to remove the injured and dead with the assistance of the locals “An employee of one of Paktika’s major hospitals who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak to the media stated.
The hard-line Islamist Taliban authorities, who took control of the nation in August after two decades of war and have been shut off from much outside support due to sanctions, will face a significant challenge in mounting a rescue mission. Rescue attempts are being coordinated by the Taliban-led ministry of defense.
The UN claimed that while it was sending out medical personnel and supplying medical supplies, it lacked search and rescue capabilities in Afghanistan.
As some of the communities are in isolated locations in the highlands and it will take some time to gather facts, interior ministry spokesman Salahuddin Ayubi predicted that the death toll will climb.
The earthquake on Wednesday was the worst to hit Afghanistan since 2002. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported that it hit around 44 km (27 miles) from the southeast Afghan city of Khost, close to the Pakistani border.
According to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC), 119 million people in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India experienced shaking; nevertheless, there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries in Pakistan.
The USGC reported that the earthquake’s magnitude was 5.9, whereas the EMSC reported that it was 6.1.
Inadequately constructed homes and landslides made the impoverished hillside areas hit by the earthquake particularly susceptible, according to disaster experts and relief workers.
Gul Faraz, together with his wife and children, were receiving medical attention at a hospital in the eastern province of Paktika for injuries they sustained while sleeping at home when the room collapsed on them. He said that a few family members had died.
The entire region has been damaged, not just the houses in our neighborhood.
According to Ayubi, the majority of the reported fatalities occurred in Paktika, where 255 people were killed and over 200 wounded. There were 25 fatalities and 90 hospitalizations in the province of Khost.
The Taliban’s top leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, expressed his sympathy in a statement.
Recent floods in numerous areas, which has closed sections of highway, has made things more difficult for Afghan officials.
A serious economic crisis is also affecting Afghanistan. Many nations put restrictions on Afghanistan’s financial industry and reduced billions of dollars in economic funding in response to the Taliban takeover last year.
The Taliban would welcome outside assistance, according to a spokesperson for the foreign ministry. Several nations, including Iran and Pakistan, two neighbors, announced they were sending food and medication as part of humanitarian relief.
The United Nations, according to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, was fully mobilized, determining the requirements and offering first help.
“We rely on the global world to assist in providing assistance to the hundreds of families affected by this most recent calamity. The moment for solidarity is now “In a statement, he stated.
A tectonic plate known as the Indian plate is pressing against the Eurasian plate from the north, which is causing seismic activity across significant portions of South Asia.