At least 1,000 dead in Afghanistan earthquake, fears death toll will rise

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Sharan, Afghanistan, (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News – June 23, 2022): A powerful earthquake shook a remote border region of Afghanistan overnight, killing at least 1,000 people and injuring 1,500 others, reports said. Officials on Wednesday, the toll expected to rise desperately as rescuers dig into collapsed homes.

The 5.9-magnitude quake hit hardest in the rugged east, where people are already leading difficult lives amid a worsening humanitarian crisis since the Taliban took power in August.

“People are digging grave after grave,” said Mohammad Amin Huzaifa, head of the Department of Information and Culture in hard-hit Paktika, adding that at least 1,000 people had died in that province alone.

He said more than 1,500 people were injured, many seriously.

“People are still trapped under the rubble,” he told reporters.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the global agency was “fully mobilized” to help, with UN officials confirming the deployment of health teams and supplies of medicine, food, trauma kits and emergency shelters in the earthquake zone.

The death toll rose steadily on Wednesday as news of casualties filtered in from hard-to-reach areas in the mountains, and the country’s supreme leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada, warned it was likely to rise further.

The quake hit areas that were already feeling the effects of heavy rains, causing rockfalls and mudslides that hampered rescue efforts.

“It was a horrible situation,” said Arup Khan, 22, recovering in a hospital in Sharan, the provincial capital of Paktika.

“There were screams everywhere. The children and my family were under the mud.”

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