The humanitarian catastrophe comes at a tough time for the Taliban-ruled nation, which is at present battling a starvation and financial disaster.
tremors began at 1:24 According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), on Wednesday (Tuesday at 4:54 a.m. ET) it was about 46 kilometers (28.5 miles) southwest of the town of Khost, which is near the nation’s border with Pakistan.
The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 mi), in response to the USGS, which designated it a Yellow Alert degree – indicating a comparatively native impression.
According to the state’s Ministry of Disaster Management, many of the deaths occurred in Paktika province, Xian, Nika, Barmal and Zerok districts.
“The death toll in the Gayan and Barmal districts of Paktika province alone is more than 1,000 and at least 1,500 have been injured,” Mohamed Amin Hozaifa, head of the knowledge and tradition division of Paktika province, advised CNN in a cellphone name on Wednesday. “
The official expects the casualties to rise as the search and search operation continues.
In neighboring Khost province, 25 people were killed and several others were injured, and five in Nangarhar province, the disaster management authority said.
Photos from Paktika province, south of Khost province, show houses turned to rubble, with only one or two walls standing among the rubble, and broken roof beams.
Afghan water resources management expert Najibullah Sahid said the quake came with heavy monsoon rains in the region – traditional houses, many built of clay and other natural materials, were particularly vulnerable to damage.
“The timing of the earthquake (at evening) is darkish … and the shallow depth of its epicenter of 10 km prompted extra casualties,” he said.
Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry said in a tweet on Wednesday that a team of medics and seven helicopters had been dispatched to the area to take the injured to nearby hospitals.
The situation has crippled an economy already heavily dependent on aid. After a chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan last year, its economy has been freed in April with the World Bank forecast that “a mixture of declining incomes and rising costs has pushed a extreme decline in home dwelling requirements.”
Taliban emergency meeting Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said on Wednesday the victims and their families were held to provide transportation and material assistance to the wounded.
In a tweet, Mujahid said, Prime Minister Mohammad Hassan Akhund called a meeting at the Rashtrapati Bhavan of the country and directed all concerned agencies to send emergency relief teams to the affected area.
Measures were also taken to provide “money help and remedy” and directed agencies to use air and land transport for “distribution of meals, clothes, drugs and different requirements and transportation of the injured,” the Mujahid said. went.
In a tweet on Wednesday, the World Health Organization said its teams were on the field for emergency response, including providing medicine, trauma services and assessing needs.
Pakistan Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif supplied his condolences and assist in a tweet on Wednesday. “Deeply saddened to study concerning the earthquake in Afghanistan, which resulted within the lack of harmless lives,” he wrote. “People in Pakistan share the grief and sorrow of their Afghan brothers. Relevant authorities are working to assist Afghanistan on this time of want.”
According to a tweet by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson on Wednesday, India expressed “sympathy and condolences to the victims and their households”.
Pope Francis said he was praying “for these and for his or her households” during his weekly audience on Wednesday. “I hope that help might be despatched there to assist all of the struggling of the pricey folks of Afghanistan.”
Afghanistan has a long history of earthquakes, many of which occur in the mountainous Hindu Kush region that borders Pakistan.
CNN’s Hada Messia and Martin Goilando contributed to this report.