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At Least 1,000 Dead, 1,500 Injured as 6.1-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Afghanistan

The southeastern province of Paktika has been the worst hit.

Updated
World
2 min read
At Least 1,000 Dead, 1,500 Injured as 6.1-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Afghanistan
i

A 6.1-magnitude earthquake in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, 22 June, has left at least 1,000 people dead, and has injured another 1,500, an official was reported as saying by AP.

The southeastern province of Paktika has been the worst hit, while the United Nations (UN) is trying to provide emergency shelter and food aid.

Meanwhile, the Taliban has asked for international support and aid. After the Taliban took over Afghanistan last year, many aid agencies fled the country amid the withdrawal by North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United States.

  • 01/03

    In this photo released by a set-run news agency Bakhtar, Afghans look at the destruction caused by an earthquake in the province of Paktika, eastern Afghanistan, Wednesday.

    (Photo: AP/PTI)

    <div class="paragraphs"><p>In this photo released by a set-run news agency Bakhtar, Afghans look at the destruction caused by an earthquake in the province of Paktika, eastern Afghanistan, Wednesday.</p></div>
  • 02/03

    In this image taken from a video from Bakhtar State News Agency, Taliban fighters secure a government helicopter to evacuate injured people in Gayan district, Paktika province, Afghanistan, Wednesday, 22 June.

    (Photo: AP/PTI)

    <div class="paragraphs"><p>In this image taken from a video from Bakhtar State News Agency, Taliban fighters secure a government helicopter to evacuate injured people in Gayan district, Paktika province, Afghanistan, Wednesday, 22 June.</p></div>
  • 03/03

    Afghan villagers collect belongings from under the rubble of a home that was destroyed in an earthquake in the Spera district of the southwestern part of Khost Province, Afghanistan, Wednesday, 22 June.

    (Photo: AP/PTI)

    <div class="paragraphs"><p>Afghan villagers collect belongings from under the rubble of a home that was destroyed in an earthquake in the Spera district of the southwestern part of Khost Province, Afghanistan, Wednesday, 22 June.</p></div>

The earthquake took place in the country's eastern Paktika province, and the state-run news agency Bakhtar reported that rescuers were arriving by helicopter.

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"A severe earthquake shook four districts of Paktika province, killing and injuring hundreds of our countrymen and destroying dozens of houses. We urge all aid agencies to send teams to the area immediately to prevent further catastrophe," Bilal Karimi, a deputy spokesman for the Taliban government, wrote on Twitter.

"We urge all aid agencies to send teams to the area immediately to prevent further catastrophe," he added.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his "deepest condolences on loss of precious lives."

Afghanistan is a country that has seen more than four decades of relentless conflict and bloodshed, starting with the Soviet invasion in 1979 and the Taliban takeover in 1996, to the US invasion in 2001 and the Taliban’s return to power in 2021.

Consequently, it has failed in its disaster management preparation against earthquakes and other natural disasters. Emergency services like aircraft and helicopters were hardly available to rescuers even before the Taliban took over in August 2021.

The European seismological agency, EMSC, stated that the tremors were felt over 500 kilometres by around 119 million people across Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.

Effects Felt in Several Parts of Pakistan

According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), the earthquake's epicentre was 44 km southwest of Khost Province, located in southeastern Afghanistan.

The exact time of the earthquake was 1:54 am (local time), and its effects were felt in Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore, and other parts of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces.

Pakistan lies in an active seismic zone and this was the second earthquake there in a week after a 5.2 magnitude one occurred on 17 June.

(With inputs from AP and Reuters.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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