By Neelam Rahim
At least 1,000 people were killed and quite 1,500 others injured after a strong earthquake struck a distant and mountainous region of southeastern Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan early Wednesday, the state-run Bakhtar press association said.
Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada told BBC that many houses were destroyed, and the toll was likely to rise.
It is the deadliest earthquake to strike Afghanistan in twenty years.
According to EWN, the 5.9 magnitude quake struck hardest within the rugged terrain of the east, where people already live hardscrabble lives in an exceedingly country within the grip of a humanitarian disaster made worse by the Taliban takeover in August.
The cost has climbed steadily as news of casualties filtered in hard-to-reach areas within the mountains. The country’s supreme leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada, also warned it might likely rise further.
“So far, the data we’ve is that a minimum of 920 people are martyred and 600 injured,” Sharafuddin Muslim, the deputy minister for disaster management, told a conference in the capital, Kabul.
The EMSC put the magnitude at 6.1 though the USGC said it was 5.9.
Most of the confirmed deaths were within the eastern Afghan province of Paktika, where 255 people had been killed and 200 injured, said interior ministry official Salahuddin Ayubi.
He added that authorities had launched an operation, and helicopters were being employed to achieve the injured and soak up medical supplies and food.
About 119 million people in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India felt shaking, as reported by the EMSC on Twitter, as per News24.
The earthquake was felt in Kabul, the Afghan capital, and across the northern part of neighbouring Pakistan, in line with a map that the ECU Mediterranean Seismological Centre posted on its website. The USGS said the second quake of 4.5 magnitudes struck about 30 miles southwest of Khost about an hour later.