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Afghanistan Earthquake Live 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.Credit scoreCredit score…Bakhtar Information Company, through Related Press

KABUL, Afghanistan — Greater than 1,000 folks have been killed and 1,600 others injured after a 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck a distant and mountainous area of southeastern Afghanistan close to the border with Pakistan early Wednesday, officers mentioned.

The quake struck about 28 miles southwest of town of Khost, a provincial capital within the nation’s southeast, the United States Geological Survey said, and had a depth of about six miles.

Raees Hozaifa, the director of knowledge and tradition within the jap province of Paktika, mentioned that 1,000 folks within the province had been killed 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.

Search-and-rescue efforts have been persevering with, led by the Afghan Ministry of Protection, however wind and heavy rain have been stopping helicopters from touchdown and casualties have been prone to rise, the United Nations’ emergency response company mentioned.

A number of the areas hit by the earthquake are in distant, tough nation close to the Pakistani border and have been the scene of heavy combating earlier than and after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. Telecommunications are poor or nonexistent, making it onerous to get a full accounting of the casualties.

Paktika is without doubt one of the nation’s most sparsely populated provinces and in addition one of many poorest, with residents in some areas residing in earthen houses. With rugged terrain and little land flat sufficient for farming, many individuals eke out a residing within the forests, illegally slicing timber to promote as firewood.

Almost 2,000 houses have been destroyed, mentioned Ramiz Alakbarov, a deputy particular consultant for Afghanistan for the U.N. Afghan households are sometimes giant and a number of households generally dwell collectively, he mentioned, that means the earthquake will doubtless displace many individuals.

Mohammad Almas, the top of assist and appeals at Qamar, a charity in Afghanistan energetic within the space, mentioned he anticipated the dying toll to be excessive, as a result of the affected areas are removed from hospitals and since the earthquake occurred at night time, when most individuals have been indoors sleeping.

As many as 17 members of the identical household have been killed in a single village when their residence collapsed, he mentioned; just one baby survived. Mr. Almas, reached by cellphone from Pakistan, mentioned that greater than 25 villages have been nearly fully destroyed, together with faculties, mosques and houses.

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 made from clay or wooden — had been fully destroyed. He mentioned that helicopters had transported among the wounded to hospitals in Kabul and neighboring provinces.

“For now, we nonetheless are busy pulling the useless or injured from below the rubble,” he mentioned.

The quake struck about 300 miles north-northeast of the positioning of a lethal 6.4-magnitude earthquake in Pakistan in 2008, the usG.S. mentioned. Greater than 200 folks have been reported killed on the time.

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

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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