Earthquake of 6.1 Magnitude Kills More Than 1,000 People in Afghanistan and Leaves Over 1,500 Injured

Earthquake of 6.1 Magnitude Kills More Than 1,000 People in Afghanistan and Leaves Over 1,500 Injured

Paktika province is badly hit and consists of mostly mud-built houses. Officials are finding it hard to send help to the secluded region.

Afghanistan has had a severe earthquake that killed 1,000 people and wounded hundreds more. In the eastern Paktika province, where rescuers have been rushing to treat the injured, pictures reveal landslides and destroyed mud-built dwellings.

Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada told BBC that several houses have been destroyed and the death toll is expected to rise even further. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) revised an original estimate of 5.9 to 6.1 after measuring the earthquake in the early hours of Wednesday. According to the USGS, the quake's epicenter was around 46 kilometers (27 miles) away from Khost, close to the Pakistani border, reports Al Jazeera.



Mohammad Amin Hazifi, the Paktika province's head of information, informed the BBC that 1,500 additional people had been injured in addition to the 1,000 fatalities. It is the most deadly earthquake to have hit Afghanistan in the previous 20 years. A tribal leader from the Paktika province named Yaqub Manzor claimed that survivors were organizing to aid the harmed.

He said, "The local markets are closed and all the people have rushed to the affected areas." Victims were seen being taken out of the region in helicopters in the Paktika province. Images from the province that were extensively shared online showed homes that had been demolished and individuals searching among the debris. 

A local journalist in Paktika province said, "Every street you go, you hear people mourning the deaths of their beloved ones. Houses are ruined." Afghan journalist Ali M Latifi, reporting from Kabul said, "Authorities have sent helicopters and are calling for aid agencies to come in and rescue people from the rubble. But it’s a remote area and harder to reach." He added, "The biggest issue is how to reach the sites because they are further away from the provincial capitals, and the road conditions could be difficult. So really the issue is how long it’s going to take them to get there."



The majority of homes in the area are constructed in a traditional form using resources like dirt, stone, and other natural materials, according to journalist and political writer Hedayatullah Paktin, who also noted that concrete homes are uncommon. Iran and Pakistan, which are nearby, both experienced tremors. However, there were no reports of injuries or damage in the two nations at the time.



Medical professionals were among the casualties, according to a doctor from one of Paktika province's worst-hit regions. They said, "We didn't have enough people and facilities before the earthquake, and now the earthquake has ruined the little we had. I don't know how many of our colleagues are still alive."

Due to its location in a tectonically active area and its proximity to a variety of fault lines, including the Chaman fault, the Hari Rud fault, the Central Badakhshan fault, and the Darvaz fault, Afghanistan is prone to earthquakes. Over the past decade more than 7,000 people have been killed in earthquakes in the country, the UN's Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports. There are an average of 560 deaths a year from earthquakes.

To coordinate the relief effort for victims, Prime Minister Mohammad Hassan Akhund called an urgent meeting at the Presidential Palace.




Cover Image Source: NBC News/Youtube