Heavy rescue in Afghanistan
Earthquake death toll rises to over 1,000
06/23/2022, 2:00 p.m
The horror after the earthquake in Afghanistan is great. The number of victims is steadily increasing. In addition, the rescue work is made more difficult by rainfall and the impassable terrain.
After the devastating earthquake in the Afghan-Pakistani border region, rain has made rescue work more difficult. The authorities reported at least 1,000 dead and 1,500 injured. Helpers dug in with their hands and provided survivors with food and clothing. Mass graves were also dug. The massive tremor had startled numerous residents early Wednesday morning.
He has never experienced such horror, said Khalid Sadran, police spokesman for the incumbent Taliban government. “Even though we’ve spent our lives exploding bombs.” And further: “It was unbearable. We prepared food for them from the army corps. They were hungry, tired and scared. Then it started to rain.”
“Many bodies have not yet been recovered. Some are in the houses and some are under the rubble,” a resident of the affected areas in the east of the country told the Tolonews TV station. “We need cranes, they should build our houses and they should bring us tents. We spent the night out in the mountains,” the man complained.
Several aid organizations have meanwhile pledged their support to the country. “The number of casualties is expected to increase as search and rescue operations continue,” the UN Emergency Relief Office (OCHA) said. UN Secretary-General António Guterres expressed his condolences to the victims. “The earthquake in Afghanistan has shaken a country where around 20 million people no longer know how to feed themselves,” said Thomas ten Boer, Welthungerhilfe’s country director in Kabul. “The local authorities have already signaled that outside help would be welcome. This shows that the disaster, the extent of which is not yet known, can hardly be dealt with on our own,” says ten Boer.
The Taliban leadership expressed its sympathy and condolences to the victims. According to OCHA, up to 1,800 houses were destroyed in the affected provinces. Afghan media reported that one village had been completely destroyed. The construction in the poor and economically weak region is not earthquake-proof for cost reasons, many families live close together. The rescue work was made more difficult by the access to the remote mountain region. The militant Islamist Taliban, who have ruled Afghanistan again since August 2021, called an emergency cabinet meeting. Several helicopters were sent to the disaster area to help local people. A government spokesman called on aid organizations for support. Some aid organizations arrived on site on Wednesday.
The US earthquake monitor (USGS) reported a magnitude of 5.9 for the quake and a slightly weaker aftershock. Accordingly, the center of the earthquake was around 50 kilometers southwest of the city of Khost near the border with Pakistan at a depth of around ten kilometers. Pakistani authorities registered the earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1.