At least 920 dead in earthquake in southeastern Afghanistan
Kabul, June 22, 2022
At least 920 people have died in a powerful earthquake that struck southeastern Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan, in the early hours of Wednesday, a senior official said.
Afghanistan's Deputy Minister of State for Disaster Management Mawlawi Sharafuddin told a press conference that at least 610 others had suffered injuries in the quake that was felt in several provinces of the country.
The earthquake, which measured 6.1 on the Richter scale, occurred at 0224 hours IST today at a depth of 10 km and had its epicentre at 32.99 latitude north and 69.54 longitude east, about 44 km from Khost city, about 176 km south of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, and 334 west-southwest of Islamabad in Pakistan.
The Minister said the government would pay 100,000 Afs to the next-of-kin of each of those who lost their lives and 50,000 to each of those injured.
Media reports quoted local officials as saying that rescue teams and helicopters had reached the affected areas.
A government spokesman said an emergency meeting of the Afghanistan Cabinet was held this morning to discuss the rescue and relief efforts.
The casualties were reported from Barmal, Ziruk, Naka and Gayan districts of Paktika province.
The Gayan district was the worst-hit area in Paktika, where the quake had destroyed and damaged scores of houses and also caused landslides.
The number of casualties might rise as dozens were still trapped under the debris.
The quake jolted mountainous areas and the authorities dispatched seven helicopters with life-saving equipment and medical personnel to the area, while medical and rescue teams were also on the way to the affected areas.
Hours after the quake, acting Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund chaired an emergency cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning.
The acting Prime Minister has expressed sorrow over the loss of lives following the quake and expressed condolences to people who lost their relatives. "The meeting has ordered all concerned agencies to rush to the spot immediately. Use all available resources to save the lives of the affected people and provide all necessary assistance."