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Afghanistan Earthquake Live News Updates: At Least 1,000 Killed

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Footage from the state-run Bakhtar information company confirmed injured residents being evacuated after a 5.9-magnitude earthquake hit a distant area of southeast Afghanistan close to the Pakistan border.CreditCredit…Bakhtar News Agency, through Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan — An earthquake that struck a distant and mountainous a part of Afghanistan early Wednesday killed greater than 1,000 folks — a loss of life toll that was anticipated to rise in a area the place some residents reside in houses of clay and straw.

The 5.9-magnitude quake struck about 28 miles southwest of the town of Khost, a provincial capital within the nation’s southeast, the United States Geological Survey said. But the worst harm was within the neighboring Paktika province, which lies alongside the border with Pakistan.

Raees Hozaifa, the director of knowledge and tradition in Paktika, mentioned that 1,000 folks had been killed there and one other 1,500 injured. In Khost Province, Shabir Ahmad Osmani, the director of knowledge and tradition, mentioned that 40 folks had died and greater than 100 have been injured.

The toll made the quake the nation’s deadliest in additional than twenty years, a interval that included years of American navy efforts in opposition to the Taliban earlier than the autumn of Afghanistan’s Western-backed authorities final summer season.

Bilal Karimi, a deputy Taliban spokesman, issued an pressing name for help. “We call on the departments of all aid agencies to send their teams to the area immediately to prevent a further catastrophe,” he wrote on Twitter.

Awal Khan Zadran, a health care provider in Paktika’s Urgun district, mentioned a few of the injured had been taken to Kabul, the Afghan capital, by helicopter and others have been transported to neighboring provinces.

“Nearly all government and private hospitals are full of victims,” he mentioned.

Search-and-rescue efforts, led by the Afghan Ministry of Defense, have been being hampered by wind and heavy rain that was stopping helicopters from touchdown safely, the United Nations’ emergency response company mentioned. Casualties have been prone to rise, the company added.

Telecommunications are poor or nonexistent in distant components of the affected area, making it laborious to get a full accounting of the harm. The rugged border nation in Paktika was the scene of heavy combating earlier than and after the Taliban takeover. Paktika is a poor and sparsely populated province. With little land flat sufficient for farming, many individuals eke out a dwelling within the forests, illegally chopping timber to promote as firewood.

Nearly 2,000 houses have been destroyed, mentioned Ramiz Alakbarov, a deputy particular consultant for Afghanistan for the U.N. Afghan households are sometimes massive and a number of households typically reside collectively, he mentioned, and the earthquake will doubtless displace many individuals.

Mohammad Almas, the top of support and appeals at Qamar, a charity in Afghanistan energetic within the space, mentioned

that as many as 17 members of the identical household have been killed in a single village when their residence collapsed, he mentioned; just one little one survived. Mr. Almas, reached by cellphone in Pakistan, mentioned that greater than 25 villages have been nearly utterly destroyed, together with faculties, mosques and houses. In Paktika, native residents mentioned a landslide that adopted the earthquake had utterly worn out no less than one village.

Sarhadi Khosti, 26, who lives within the Sperah district of Khost Province, mentioned he had been woken up by the earthquake after 1 a.m., and that a variety of homes — particularly these manufactured from earth or wooden — had been utterly destroyed. He mentioned that helicopters had transported a few of the wounded to hospitals in Kabul and neighboring provinces.

“For now, we still are busy pulling the dead or injured from under the rubble,” he mentioned.

António Guterres, the secretary common of the United Nations, mentioned U.N. support groups have been on the bottom assessing the wants and offering preliminary assist to affected Afghans.

“We count on the international community to help support the hundreds of families hit by this latest disaster,” he mentioned in a press release. “Now is the time for solidarity.”

Wednesday’s earthquake was felt in Kabul and throughout the northern a part of neighboring Pakistan, according to a map that the European Mediterranean Seismological Center posted on its web site. The U.S.G.S. mentioned {that a} second quake, of 4.5 magnitude, struck about 30 miles southwest of Khost about an hour later.

In March of 2002, no less than 1,500 folks have been killed when a collection of earthquakes with a magnitude between 5 and 6 struck northern Afghanistan, destroying a district capital within the Hindu Kush. A 1998 quake measuring 6.9 killed as much as 4,000 folks within the northern Takhar Province.

Safiullah Padshah reported from Kabul, Afghanistan, and Mike Ives from Seoul. Isabella Kwai and Emma Bubola contributed reporting from London, and Salman Masood from Islamabad, Pakistan.

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