Afghanistan Earthquake Latest from the unfolding crisis – more than 1500 feared dead
Afghanistan earthquake latest as more than 1500 feared dead as the Taliban emergency services race against time to find more survivors.
Afghanistan and Pakistan were rocked by their deadliest earthquake in decades on Wednesday when a magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck the country’s east, killing around 1,500 people and wounding hundreds more, according to reports from the ground in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan earthquake latest
The humanitarian disaster comes at a difficult time for the Taliban-ruled country, currently recovering the country from the hunger and economic crises left by the American forces.
The earthquake hit at 1:24 a.m.local time on Wednesday around 46 kilometres (28.5 miles) southwest of the city of Khost, which lies close to the country’s border with Pakistan.
The powerful quake was also felt in Pakistan and although the magnitude does not seem as severe as others, the nature of the terrain and homes makes the impact deadlier.
The Afghani government call for aid
The Taliban chief called on Wednesday for international assistance after the deadliest earthquake in decades struck eastern Afghanistan, killing at least 1,000 people, with warnings that the death toll is likely to rise.
In an emergency meeting, the Afghan government approved 100 million Afghanis ($1.1 million) for relief efforts, and the Taliban supreme leader, Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada, called on the international community for help.
Offers of immediate assistance came from Pakistan. Tremors were also recorded in the country, but authorities did not report damage or casualties. The Pakistani foreign office said that it was working to extend aid.
So far the UK and US have not provided any support for the humanitarian crisis.
The country feeling the ripples of American withdrawal
The timing of the earthquake (in the) dark of night … and the shallow depth of 10 kilometres of its epicentre led to higher casualties,” he added.
A team of medics and seven helicopters have been sent to the area to transport injured people to nearby hospitals, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defence said in a tweet on Wednesday.
This comes as almost half the country’s population — 20 million people — are experiencing acute hunger, according to a United Nations-backed report in May.
It is a situation compounded by the Taliban taking back power in August 2021 after the US and allied forces fled the country overnight, leaving it in ruins and lawless.
This led the United States and its allies to freeze about $7 billion of the country’s foreign reserves and cut off international funding catapulting the impact of the sanctions.