Photos: Afghan authorities scramble to reach earthquake zone

4 days ago 14

An elder reacts to the devastation

A man reacts to the devastation from the earthquake in the Spera district of Khost province, Afghanistan. [Sardar Shafaq/Anadolu]

Published On 23 Jun 2022

Afghan authorities struggled on Thursday to reach a remote area hit by an earthquake that killed at least 1,000 people but poor communications and a lack of proper roads hampered their efforts, officials have said.

The magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck early on Wednesday about 160km (100 miles) southeast of Kabul, in arid mountains dotted with small settlements near the border with Pakistan.

“We can’t reach the area, the networks are too weak, we trying to get updates,” Mohammad Ismail Muawiyah, a spokesman for the top Taliban military commander in hardest-hit Paktika province, told Reuters news agency, referring to telephone networks.

The earthquake killed some 1,000 people and injured more than 1,500, he said. More than 3,000 houses were destroyed.

About 600 people had been rescued from various affected areas on Wednesday night, he said.

The town of Gayan, close to the epicentre, sustained significant damage with most of its mud-walled buildings damaged or completely collapsed, Reuters reported.

The town was bustling with Taliban soldiers and ambulances as a helicopter bringing in relief supplies landed nearby, whipping up huge swirls of dust. About 300 people sat on the ground waiting for supplies.

The rescue operation will be a major test for the Taliban authorities, who took over the country last August after two decades of war and have been cut off from much international assistance because of sanctions.

The Taliban-led ministry of defence is leading rescue efforts.

An ambulance shift victims of earthquake in Gayan village in Paktia province, Afghanistan, 22 June 2022.

Ambulances carry victims of the earthquake in Gayan village. [EPA]

Search and rescue operations continue as a magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck the country's east, killing over 1,000 pe

Wednesday’s earthquake took place in a region prone to landslides, with many older, weaker buildings destroyed. [Sayed Khodaiberdi Sadat/Anadolu]

People affected by earthquake wait for relief in Gayan village in Paktia province.

At least 1,000 people were killed and an estimated 1,500 others injured by the 5.9 magnitude earthquake. [EPA]

People attend funeral of the victims of earthquake in Gayan village

The quake was Afghanistan’s deadliest in 20 years, and officials said the casualty toll could rise. [EPA]

Residents wrap a body in a blanket after the 5.9 magnitude earthquake that struck eastern Afghanistan.

People carry the body of a victim recovered from the debris of a building in Spera district. [Sardar Shafaq/Anadolu]

fghans sit outside the temporary shelter after an earthquake in Gayan village in Paktia province, Afghanistan, 23 June 2022. More than 1,000 people were killed and over 1,500 others

Afghans sit outside a temporary shelter in Gayan village. [EPA]

Afghan villagers collects belongings from under the rubble

Villagers recover belongings from the rubble of a home that was destroyed by the earthquake in Spera. [AP Photo]

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