June 23, 2022: -On Wednesday, the death toll from an earthquake in Afghanistan reached 1,000, disaster management officials said, with more than 600 injured. The toll is expected to increase as information from remote mountain villages trickles in.
Houses are reduced to rubble, and bodies swathed in blankets lay on the ground; photographs on Afghan media are showing.
Helicopters are deploying in the rescue effort to reach the injured and fly in medical supplies and food, internal ministry official Salahuddin Ayubi said.
“The death toll is likely to increase in a few villages in remote areas in the mountains, and it will take a little time to collect details,” he said.
On Wednesday, the quake was the deadliest in Afghanistan since 2002. It struck about 44 km from the southeastern city of Khost, near the border with Pakistan, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGC) said.
Disaster management officials said almost 1,000 are dead and 600 injured. However, local officials put the number of wounded higher.
“1,000 dead, 1,500 injured, and it might go up; many families have been lost. Injured people are going to Kabul and Gardez,” Mohammad Amin Hozaifa, information and culture director of Paktika, told Reuters.
Most of the deaths were in the eastern province of Paktika, where 255 people were killed and more than 200 injured, Ayubi added. In the area of Khost, 25 were dead, and 90 had been taken to hospital.
Haibatullah Akhundzada, the supreme leader of the ruling Taliban, offered his condolences.
Mounting a rescue operation will prove a significant test for the Taliban. They took over the country last August and have been cut off from international assistance because of sanctions.
On Twitter, Shaking was decreased by about 119 million people in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India, the EMSC said, but there were no reports of damage or casualties.
The EMSC put the earthquake’s volume at 6.1, though the USGC said it was 5.9.
The challenge for Afghan authorities is the latest flooding in many regions, which the disaster agency said had killed 1,000.