Afghanistan Earthquake Kills 1000; More Trapped In Rubble

Story Highlights
  • The quake struck about 44 km (27 miles) from the city of Khost.
  • Adding that 1500 people are likely to be injured.
  • Taliban appealed for international help for the rescue effort as pictures showed landslides

Kabul: The death toll from an earthquake in Afghanistan on Wednesday hit 1,000, disaster management officials said, with more than 600 injured and the toll expected to grow as information trickles in from remote mountain villages.

Houses were reduced to rubble and bodies swathed in blankets lay on the ground after the magnitude 6.1 earthquake, photographs on Afghan media showed. An unknown number of people remained stuck under rubble and in outlying areas, photos showed.

Health and aid workers said rescue operations were complicated by difficult conditions including rains, landslides and many villages being nestled in inaccessible hillside areas.

“Many people are still buried under the soil. The rescue teams of the Islamic Emirate have arrived and with the help of local people are trying to take out the dead and injured,” a health worker at one of Paktika’s main hospitals said, asking for anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to media.

Mounting a rescue operation will prove a major test for the hard-line Islamist Taliban authorities, who took over the country last August after two decades of war and have been cut off from much international assistance because of sanctions.

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