Afghan earthquake: At least 1,000 people killed and 1,500 injuredon June 22, 2022 at 2:25 pm

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

The country’s deadliest quake in two decades strikes in the night as many people sleep in their beds.

This video can not be played

To play this video you need to enable JavaScript in your browser.

A powerful earthquake has killed at least 920 people and left hundreds more injured in Afghanistan, Taliban officials have said.

Pictures show landslides and ruined mud-built homes in eastern Paktika province, where rescuers have been scrambling to treat the injured.

In remote areas, helicopters have been ferrying victims to hospitals.

Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada said hundreds of houses were destroyed and the death toll was likely to rise.

His deputy minister for disaster management Sharafuddin Muslim told a news conference at least 920 people had been killed and a further 600 injured, making it Afghanistan’s deadliest earthquake in two decades.

It struck about 44km (27 miles) from the south-eastern city of Khost shortly after 01:30 local time (21:00 Tuesday GMT), when many people were at home, asleep in their beds.

“Every street you go, you hear people mourning the deaths of their beloved ones. Houses are ruined,” a local journalist in badly-hit Paktika province said to the BBC.

Earthquakes tend to cause significant damage in Afghanistan, where dwellings in many rural areas are unstable or poorly built.

Communication following the quake is difficult because of damage to mobile phone towers and the death toll could rise further still, another local journalist in the area told the BBC.

“Many people are not aware of the well-being of their relatives because their phones are not working,” he said. “My brother and his family died, and I just learned it after many hours. Many villages have been destroyed.”

Presentational grey line

Afghanistan: The basics

  • The Taliban run the country: The hardline Islamists took over Afghanistan last year, almost 20 years after being ousted by a US-led military coalition
  • There’s a food crisis: More than a third of people can’t meet basic needs and the economy is struggling, as foreign aid and cash dried up when the Taliban took power
  • Women’s rights are restricted: They have been ordered to cover their faces in public and teenage girls have not been allowed to go to school
Presentational grey line

Taliban officials called for aid agencies to rush to the affected areas in the nation’s east.

Decades of conflict have made it difficult for the impoverished country to improve its protections against earthquakes and other natural disasters – despite efforts by aid agencies to reinforce some buildings over the years.

Even before the Taliban takeover, Afghanistan’s emergency services were stretched to deal with natural disasters – with few aircraft and helicopters available to rescuers.

Speaking to the BBC, a doctor from one of the worst hit districts in Paktika province said medical workers were among the victims.

“We didn’t have enough people and facilities before the earthquake, and now the earthquake has ruined the little we had,” they said. “I don’t know how many of our colleagues are still alive.”

Destroyed homes and buildings in the Gayan District in Paktika

Image source, @Alham24992157

Destroyed buildings

Image source, Afghanistan Information Service

Most of the casualties so far have been in the Gayan and Barmal districts in Paktika, a local doctor told the BBC. Local media site Etilaat-e Roz reported a whole village in Gayan had been destroyed.

Tremors were felt across more than 500km of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Witnesses reported feeling the quake in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, as well as Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad.

However, there have been no immediate reports of casualties or significant damage in Pakistan, according to BBC Urdu.

Afghanistan is prone to quakes, as it’s located in a tectonically active region, over a number of fault lines including the Chaman fault, the Hari Rud fault, the Central Badakhshan fault and the Darvaz fault.

The earthquake was magnitude 6.1 at a depth of some 51km, according to seismologists.

In the past 10 years, more than 7,000 people have been killed in earthquakes in the country, the UN’s Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports. There are an average of 560 deaths a year from earthquakes.

Presentational white space
- Advertisement -




Abdul Elahi: Sexual blackmailer jailed for 40 yearson December 10, 2021 at 4:46 pm

Abdul Elahi targeted almost 2,000 victims, amassing images he sold to paedophiles.Image source, National Crime AgencyAn online blackmailer who carried out "sickening" and "abhorrent"...

Six Sale players in contention for South Africa squad to face Lionson May 13, 2021 at 10:32 am

As many as six of Sale's South African contingent could feature for the Springboks against the Lions this summer.Prop Coenie Oosthuizen and twins Dan...

How Sharon Van Etten came undone on her new albumon May 5, 2022 at 11:33 pm

How lockdown anxiety inspired the folk-rock star's most devastating album to date.

DeChambeau out of Olympics after positive Covid-19 teston July 25, 2021 at 3:25 am

US golfer Bryson DeChambeau is out of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after testing positive for Covid-19.

Bradley to host BBC’s new Blankety Blank serieson April 30, 2021 at 3:41 am

Bradley Walsh will host popular the resurrected game show after the success of a festive special.Bradley Walsh will host popular the resurrected game show...