At least 1000 killed after strong earthquake hits Afghanistan

At least 1000 killed after strong earthquake hits Afghanistan

Kabul (Web Desk): At least 1000 people were killed and scores injured in a 6.1-magnitude earthquake in east of Afghanistan on early Wednesday.

As per the US Geological Survey (USGC), the earthquake struck about 44 km (27 miles) from the city of Khost, near the Pakistani border.

According to an Afghan interior ministry official Salahuddin Ayubi, most of the confirmed deaths were in the eastern Afghan province of Paktika, where 255 people had been killed and more than 200 injured. In Khost province, 25 people had been killed and 90 taken to hospital, he said.

Authorities had launched a rescue operation and helicopters were being used to reach the injured and take in medical supplies and food, Ayubi added.

Photographs on Afghan media showed houses reduced to rubble and bodies covered in blankets on the ground.

Immediately after the earthquake was reported, the government of Pakistan extended condolences and sympathies over the loss of lives and damage to property in the neighbouring country.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed condolences over the lives lost in the earthquake.

In a statement, the premier said that Pakistan stands with Afghan brothers and sisters in this difficult time.

He said that Pakistan will provide all possible assistance to the people of Afghanistan.

PM Shehbaz directed the authorities concerned to assist the affected people in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office (FO) stated that the government and people of Pakistan extend deepest condolences and sympathies over the loss of precious lives and damage to property.

"The people of Pakistan stand in strong solidarity with their Afghan brethren in this difficult time. We have no doubt that the brotherly Afghan people will overcome the effects of this natural calamity with their characteristic resilience," the statement said.

The FO added that Pakistani authorities and institutions are working to extend required assistance to Afghanistan in coordination with their relevant institutions.

Moreover, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has sympathised with families of those who lost their lives and livelihoods from the earthquake that affected some provinces of Afghanistan.

In a tweet, the global health body;s Afghanistan chapter wrote, “WHO Teams are on the ground to support immediate health needs, provide ambulance, medicines & trauma services & conduct needs assessment.”