Earthquake News

Afghanistan is rocked by a deadly earthquake.

According to a provincial authority, a magnitude 5.9 earthquake that shook Afghanistan's east on Wednesday was the country's worst in decades and left more than 1,000 people dead and numerous others injured.

The humanitarian catastrophe strikes as the Taliban-run nation is struggling with both an economic and food crisis.
According to the United States Geological Survey, the shocks occurred around 1:24 a.m. local time on Wednesday (4:54 p.m. ET on Tuesday) about 46 kilometers (28.5 miles) southwest of the city of Khost, which is near to the nation's border with Pakistan (USGS).

According to USGS, the earthquake had a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), and it was given a yellow warning rating, suggesting a somewhat confined impact.
According to the State Ministry for Disaster Management, the majority of the fatalities occurred in the districts of Giyan, Nika, Barmal, and Zirok in the province of Paktika.
According to Mohammad Amin Hozaifa, director of the Paktika province's communication and cultural department, more than 1,000 people have died and at least 1,500 have been injured "in Gayan and Barmal districts of Paktika province alone."
The official anticipates more casualties as search and rescue operations continue.

The disaster management organization reported that five people died in Nangarhar province while 25 people died and several more were injured in the nearby Khost province.
Photos from the province of Paktika, which is located just south of the province of Khost, show houses that are in ruins with only a few of the walls remaining standing among the debris and shattered roof beams.

According to Najibullah Sadid, an expert in water resources management in Afghanistan, the region had seen strong monsoon rains at the time of the earthquake, which left traditional homes—many of which are built of mud and other natural materials—particularly prone to destruction.
Higher casualties were caused by the earthquake's timing, which occurred in the middle of the night, and its shallow depth of 10 kilometers, the author continued.
Afghanistan's Ministry of Defense announced in a tweet on Wednesday that seven helicopters and a team of doctors had been dispatched to the area to help transfer injured persons to hospitals nearby.

This comes at a time when 20 million people, or almost half the country's population, are said to be suffering from severe hunger, per a May assessment sponsored by the United Nations. The Taliban's coup in August 2021, which resulted in the United States and its allies freezing roughly $7 billion of the nation's foreign funds and shutting off international support, has made the problem worse.
An already heavily dependent on aid economy has been decimated by the circumstances. The World Bank predicted in April that a "combination of dropping wages and increased prices has generated a substantial deterioration in household living conditions" as a result of the disorderly US departure from Afghanistan last year.

According to Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid, the Taliban convened an emergency meeting on Wednesday to plan how to transfer the injured and provide material relief to the victims and their families.
According to Mujahid in a tweet, Prime Minister Mohammad Hassan Akhund convened the meeting in the presidential palace of the nation to direct all pertinent authorities to dispatch emergency assistance teams to the afflicted region.
Mujahid stated that agencies were "instructed to employ air and land transport for the supply of food, clothes, medication and other essentials as well as for the removal of the injured" and that "measures were also made to offer monetary assistance and treatment."

According to Mawlawi Sharafuddin Muslim, Afghanistan's deputy minister of state for disaster management, "the Islamic Emirate would pay 100,000 AFN ($1,116.19) for the families of those who were killed in the earthquake and 50,000 ($558.10) for the families of those injured," on Wednesday.
The necessity of international help was also stressed by the administration.
According to a press release from the country's diplomatic missions, "Islamic Republic of Afghanistan begs for the generous help of all nations, international organizations, individuals, and foundations to supply and deliver critical humanitarian relief."
The World Health Organization (WHO) stated in a tweet on Wednesday that its personnel were on the ground for emergency response, including giving medicine, offering trauma treatment, and performing needs assessments.

However, a WHO representative admitted to CNN's Eleni Giokos that logistics were strained. Alaa AbouZeid, emergency team lead and incident manager at WHO's Afghanistan office, said: "All of the resources have been mobilized, not just from the nearby provinces but also from Kabul, including medical supplies, medics, nurses, health workers, ambulances and emergency officers who are trained in dealing with such situations."
He stated, "The situation is still developing, and we are putting additional resources where they are needed." Although the resources are already pushed thin, not just in this area, we anticipate that the situation will change during the next several hours.
Heavy rain and wind are impeding operations, with helicopters apparently unable to fly, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).

The UNOCHA stated in a statement released on Wednesday that "immediate needs identified include emergency trauma treatment, emergency shelter and non-food items, food assistance and WASH [water, sanitation and hygiene] support."

Shehbaz Sharif, the prime minister of Pakistan, tweeted on Wednesday to express his sympathy and give assistance. He added that he was "very saddened to read of the earthquake in Afghanistan, which resulted in the loss of innocent lives." "The grieving and sadness of the Afghan people are shared by the people of Pakistan. The necessary authorities are striving to help Afghanistan at this difficult moment.
The spokesman for the Indian Ministry of External Affairs tweeted on Wednesday that India has "expressed compassion and condolences to the victims and their families."
During his weekly audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis said he was praying "for those who have lost their lives and for their families." "I wish that aid may be provided there to alleviate all of the dear people's suffering.

There has been a long history of earthquakes in Afghanistan, many of which take place in the rugged Hindu Kush area that shares a border with Pakistan.
More than 300 people were murdered in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India in 2015 as a result of an earthquake that jolted regions of South Asia.
Following two earthquakes in the Nahrin area of northwest Afghanistan in 2002, more than 1,000 people perished. According to data from the National Centers for Environmental Information, a strong earthquake that rocked the same area in 1998 killed roughly 4,700 people.


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