April 18, 2024

Pathfinder News

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Earthquake Kills 1,000 People In Afghanistan

Afghanistan has been rocked by its deadliest earthquake in decades on Wednesday when a magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck the country’s east, killing more than 1,000 people and wounding many more, according to a regional official.

The humanitarian disaster comes at a difficult time for the Taliban-ruled country, currently in the throes of a hunger and economic crisis. The shocks hit at 1:24 a.m.local time on Wednesday (4:54 p.m. ET on Tuesday) around 46 kilometers (28.5 miles) southwest of the city of Khost, which lies close to the country’s border with Pakistan. The quake registered at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), according to USGS, which designated it at yellow alert level, indicating a relatively localized impact.Most of the deaths were in Paktika province, in the districts of Giyan, Nika, Barmal and Zirok, according to the State Ministry for Disaster Management.

The death toll stands at more than 1,000 and at least 1,500 people have been injured “in Gayan and Barmal districts of Paktika province alone,” Mohammad Amin Hozaifa, head of Paktika province’s information and culture department said.

The official expects the number of casualties to rise as search and effort missions continue. In neighboring Khost province, 25 people were killed and several others were injured, and five people were killed in Nangarhar province, the disaster management authority said.

Photos from Paktika province, just south of Khost province, show houses turned to rubble with only a wall or two still standing amid the rubble, and broken roof beams. The situation has crippled an economy already heavily dependent on aid. Following the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan last year, its economy has gone into freefall with the World Bank forecasting in April that a “combination of declining incomes and increasing prices has driven a severe deterioration in household living standards.”