World reacts to fatal Afghan earthquake
The transfer of scores of those wounded in the earthquake in southwestern Afghanistan has turned challenging for the rescue teams due to the high number of the injured, health officials in Paktika said, vowing to manage the situation at their best.
The officials said that many of the wounded have been sent to health centers and hospitals in Paktika and Khost provinces.
Hekmatullah, the public health director for Paktika, said the casualties and the number of the wounded might increase as almost all villages in Barmal and Gayan districts of Paktika have been destroyed.
“So far, all villages have been destroyed and it is not clear how many of them are wounded and how many of them have been martyred,” he said. “These districts are very remote and their roads are unconstructed. It takes three to six hours for our medical teams to reach the affected areas. We also need a helicopter to ensure quick transfer of the wounded.”
Paktika residents said that the bumpy roads have interrupted the rescue operations for the survivors of the deadly earthquake.
“We have nearly lost all of my family members. There are so many problems. The people are poor. Roads are dusty. Three to five people have died in each home,” a resident of Paktika said.
“No house has been left in Gayan; all are destroyed,” another resident of Paktika said.
The earthquake has left over 1,000 people dead only in Gayan and Barmal districts of Paktika, according to local officials, who said that at least 1,500 others have been wounded in the incident.
“The wounded were quickly taken to the hospital (in Khost). The Islamic Emirate has sent aid to the province by helicopter from Kabul,” said Shabir Ahmad Osmani, the head of Khost’s information and culture directorate.
In Khost, officials said, at least 29 people have died and 95 more have been wounded in the earthquake.
Meanwhile, the fatal earthquake in southeast Afghanistan that left over 1,000 people killed, and injured than 1,500 others, has sparked international reactions.
The Pakistan Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that he is “deeply grieved to learn about the earthquake in Afghanistan, resulting in loss of innocent lives. Relevant authorities working to support Afghanistan in this time of need,” he said.
The Vatican News reported that Pope Francis said he is praying for those who have lost their lives in the earthquake in Afghanistan.
The epicenter was 44km from Khost city, and it measured 6.1 on the richter scale, according to USGS.
The earthquake hit four districts of Paktika province, killing nearly 1,000 people and wounding more than 1,500, according to officials.
I’m deeply shocked & saddened by the terrible earthquake in Afghanistan with over a 1000 people killed & wounded. My thoughts are with the victims’ families. Together with our intl partners, we will provide humanitarian aid wherever we can,” tweeted German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.