At Least 900 Killed in Earthquake in Eastern Afghanistan
More than 900 people are reported dead and hundreds injured in the wake of a powerful earthquake in eastern Afghanistan. The earthquake, which measured a magnitude of 6, struck the Paktika province near the border with Pakistan, about 27 miles from the southeastern city of Khost. It measured a magnitude of at least 5.9, and was at a depth of about 6 miles, making it even more destructive.
The earthquake, which was powerful enough to destroy hundreds of homes, most made of mud and other natural materials, struck early on Wednesday morning when most people were sleeping. Tremors from the earthquake were felt over 500 kilometers, or 310 miles, by 119 million people across Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India according to the European seismological agency, EMSC.
Bilal Karimi, a deputy spokesman for the Taliban government, tweeted: “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.”
Rescuers arrived by helicopter and began ferrying the wounded out of the area on them. The Taliban, which run the country, called on aid agencies to rush to send teams to the affected areas. The quake is already the deadliest in Afghanistan in the last 20 years, and the death toll is expected to rise.