Afghanistan quake kills 1,000 people, deadliest in decades – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2022-06-22 12:00:00 –

Kabul, Afghanistan >> A powerful quake struck the rural mountainous region of eastern Afghanistan early Wednesday, killing 1,000 people and injuring another 1,500 in one of the country’s deadliest earthquakes in decades. The state-run news agency reported. Authorities have already warned that severe casualties may still increase.

Information from remote areas near the Pakistani border was still lacking, but early footage from a village surrounded by rugged mountains shows residents picking up rubble from collapsed stone and mudbrick houses. Was showing.

The disaster has brought great challenges to the Taliban government in Afghanistan. The Afghan government seized power about 10 months ago as the United States and its NATO allies prepared to withdraw abroad and have been largely shunned by world society since then.

Rescue teams rushed to the area by helicopter, but the response is likely to be complicated as many international aid agencies have left Afghanistan after the Taliban hijacking. In addition, most governments are wary of dealing directly with the Taliban. The Taliban are hesitant to delay the emergency assistance and team deployment normally delivered after such a natural disaster.

As a rare move, Leader of the Islamic Taliban, Hibatullah Akhnzada, rarely appeared in public. Man. “

“We ask God to save our poor people from trials and harm,” he said in a statement issued by a Taliban spokesman.

The disaster occurs when Afghanistan is already deeply involved in one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, with millions facing rising hunger and poverty after the international financial cutoff to the Taliban. To do. It prompted a large aid program, but the world poured money through the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies to avoid spending money on the Taliban. This system may be too slow for an emergency response to an earthquake.

Moreover, in Afghanistan, a landlocked country slightly smaller than Texas, where rutted mountain roads can now be severely damaged, it remains difficult to reach rural areas at best.

The magnitude 6.1 earthquake had its epicenter in Paktika, about 50 km (31 miles) southwest of Khost, according to the neighboring Pakistani Meteorological Bureau.

Earthquakes of that intensity can cause serious damage in areas where homes and other buildings are poorly constructed and landslides are common. Experts have set the depth to just 10 km (6 miles). This is another factor that can lead to serious destruction.

Images from Paktika show a man carrying a helicopter waiting for people in a blanket. Others were treated on the ground. One resident could be seen receiving an IV drip while sitting in a plastic chair outside the rubble of his home, and more were spread to Gurney. Some images show residents picking up clay bricks and other rubble from a destroyed stone house. Some of its roofs and walls are depressed.

The death toll from the Bakhtar News Agency was the same as the death toll from the 2002 earthquake in northern Afghanistan. These are the most deadly since 1998, with a magnitude 6.1 earthquake and subsequent northeastern tremors killing at least 4,500 people.

In most parts of the world, earthquakes of that intensity do not cause much damage, said Robert Sanders, a seismologist at the US Geological Survey. However, earthquake deaths are often due to geography, building quality, and population density.

“Because of the mountainous areas, there are rockslides and landslides that we won’t know until later. Old buildings are likely to collapse and fail,” he said. “We have seen similar earthquakes cause great damage in the past, depending on how condensed this region is in that region of the world.”

The Taliban attempted to reconstruct government ministries abandoned by officials loyal to the former Western support government, and it was not clear how authorities arrived at the victims reported by Bacter. ..

In Kabul, Prime Minister Mohammad Hasan Akhund convened an emergency meeting at the presidential residence and coordinated relief efforts. Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for the Taliban government, urged support agencies to send teams to the area on Twitter.

“When such a big incident happens in any country, we need help from other countries,” said Sharafuddin, Deputy Minister for Disaster Management. “It is very difficult to deal with this huge incident.”

“The response is on the way,” Afghanistan’s UN resident coordinator, Ramiz Arakbarov, said on Twitter.

Given Afghanistan’s new international isolation under the Taliban after last year’s takeover, that can be difficult. It was 20 years after the US-led aggression defeated the same rebels as a result of the 9/11 attack. Since the late 1990s, the new government has issued a series of repressive edicts limiting the rights of women and girls, reminiscent of the Taliban’s harsh rule, but promised that it would not happen.

However, according to Bactor Secretary Abdur Wahid Rayan, Afghanistan Red Crescent has sent about 4,000 blankets, 800 tents and 800 kitchen kits to the disaster area.

Emergency, an Italian medical aid group still active in Afghanistan, said it had dispatched seven ambulances and staff to the area closest to the earthquake zone.

“There is a risk that more people will be killed because many people can be trapped under a collapsed building,” said Stefano Soza, Afghanistan’s Country Director for Emergency Affairs. .. “This latest tragedy has forced Afghanistan to exacerbate the vulnerabilities and economic and social difficulties it has experienced for months.”

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said his country would provide assistance. In the Vatican, Pope Francis prayed for all the murdered people and “the suffering of the dear Afghan people.”

According to the European seismological agency EMSC, the quake shook more than 500 km (310 miles) in 119 million people in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

In some remote areas of Pakistan, there were reports of damage to houses near the Afghan border, but it was not immediately clear whether it was due to rain or an earthquake.

The larger parts of South Asia along the mountainous areas of Afghanistan and the Hindu Kush Mountains have long been vulnerable to catastrophic earthquakes.

Associated Press writers Rahim Faiez and Munir Ahmed of Islamabad, Jon Gambrell and Isabel DeBre of Dubai, United Arab Emirates contributed to this report.

Afghanistan quake kills 1,000 people, deadliest in decades Source link Afghanistan quake kills 1,000 people, deadliest in decades

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