NewsWorldEarthquake in Afghanistan: rescuers work despite lack of resources

Earthquake in Afghanistan: rescuers work despite lack of resources

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Published on: 06/23/2022 – 09:06Modified on: 06/23/2022 – 09:17 According to a senior regional official, at least a thousand people were killed during a magnitude 6.1 earthquake that struck hit southeastern Afghanistan overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday. Teams from the UN and its humanitarian partners are being deployed to help the survivors. Rescuers were desperately trying on Thursday to help victims of the earthquake that killed at least a thousand people in southeastern Afghanistan, but their efforts were hampered by lack of resources, mountainous terrain and heavy rains. The earthquake, with a magnitude of 5.9, occurred in the early hours of Wednesday this poor and difficult to access rural region, bordering Pakistan. Already in the grip of an economic and humanitarian crisis, Afghanistan is hit by a new tragedy, which constitutes a heavy challenge for the Taliban, in power since mid-August. It is the deadliest earthquake ever known. Afghanistan in more than two decades. At least a thousand people have been killed and 1,500 injured in the most affected province of Paktika alone, according to authorities who fear that the death toll could still rise, many people remaining trapped under the rubble of their collapsed homes. The earthquake struck in eastern Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan. © France 24 “It is very difficult to get information from the field because of the poor network [téléphonique]”, declared Thursday to AFP the head of the Information and Culture service of the province of Paktika, Mohammad Amin Huzaifa. Moreover, “it is difficult to access the affected sites” especially since ” the area was hit last night by flooding caused by heavy rain,” he added, stressing that no new tolls were therefore yet available. The heavy rains also caused landslides which are slowing down relief and damaged telephone and power lines. abroad and the sudden halt in Western international aid, which has carried the country at arm’s length for twenty years and has only come back in dribs and drabs since the return to power of the Islamists. International aid Afghanistan has only a very limited number of helicopters and planes. The United Nations, who pointed out that at least 2,000 houses had been destroyed – each being inhabited on average by seven or eight people – also highlighted the lack of clearing equipment. A video taken on the spot by AFP shows a group of men clearing with their bare hands the debris of a completely collapsed house to free a body. The Taliban government said it was doing the best of its abilities and called for the helps the international community, which has refused to recognize it so far, and humanitarian organizations. But international aid is difficult to mobilize, NGOs and UN agencies being less present on the spot than in the past since the return to power of the Taliban. The Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, nevertheless assured that the UN was “fully mobilized” to help Afghanistan, with the ongoing deployment of first aid teams and the sending of medicines and food. The population needs shelter in priority, because of the rains and the unusual cold in this season, but also food and non-food aid and assistance in water, hygiene and sanitation services, a indicated the e Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) of the UN. The Taliban announced Thursday that they had received two planes loaded with aid from Iran, and one from Qatar. Eight trucks full of food and first aid supplies from neighboring Pakistan have also arrived in Paktika province. “Like a tsunami” The European Union also said on Wednesday it was ready to “provide emergency aid” . “Deeply saddened”, the United States announced to examine their “response options” humanitarian. Severely under-equipped, the Afghan health system is also under great pressure. “Our country is poor and lacks resources. It’s a humanitarian crisis. It’s like a tsunami,” Mohammad Yahya Wiar, director of the hospital in Sharan, capital of Paktika, told AFP. survivors were taken to this hospital, including Bibi Hawa, a 55-year-old woman from Gayan district, one of the most affected, who lost 15 members of her family. “Seven in one room, five in another and three in yet another were killed,” she sighs on her bed, her face contorted with tears. “Now I am alone, I have no one.” Afghanistan is frequently hit by earthquakes, particularly in the Hindu Kush mountain range, which lies at the junction of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates. These disasters can be particularly destructive due to the weak resistance of Afghan rural houses. northeast). With AFP

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