At least 1.030 people died and more than 1.500 were injured by the magnitude 5,9 earthquake that rocked eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, a death toll expected to rise as the rescue operation progresses, news agencies report.
The telluric movement was recorded on Tuesday night about 46 kilometers from Khost, capital of the province of the same name, according to reports from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), which also indicated a magnitude 4,5 aftershock.
According to the Afghan state news agency Bakhtar, refers to a note from the panampost portal, the latest balance was reported by the Department of Information and Culture of Paktika and shows that only in the districts of Gayan and Barmal of that province, more More than 1.000 people died and more than 1.500 were injured, without providing further details.
It was learned that the largest number of victims occurred in the province of Paktika.
The spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Disaster Management and Response, Mohammad Nasim Haqqani, said that 25 people had died in Khost, while another five died in the eastern province of Nangarhar.
After the 5,9 magnitude earthquake, numerous humanitarian organizations, together with Taliban authorities, carry out search and rescue work for the wounded and survivors of the catastrophe, according to a statement from the United Nations Office for Coordination Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
"We believe that about 2.000 houses have been destroyed," said the UN humanitarian coordinator for Afghanistan, Ramiz Alakbarov, in statements to the AFP agency.
The UN also stated that the lack of machinery is making it difficult to search for survivors.
For their part, the country's authorities deployed five helicopters from the Afghan Ministry of Defense, more than 50 ambulances and multiple teams of health workers in the provinces of Paktika and Khost, the main ones affected by the earthquake, to speed up rescue efforts and transfer wounded to the nearest hospitals.
strong weather conditions
The heavy rains and the wind that hit the area have not allowed the helicopters to land to continue with the rescue work and mobilization of the wounded to the hospital centers, so they have arranged the conventional roads to send the survivors to the hospitals. .
"For the moment, at least 130 wounded have been transferred" and admitted to hospitals, OCHA added.
OCHA also detailed that 1.800 houses were destroyed and damaged in Gayan, which represents 70% of the total houses in the district.
Beyond sending assistance and medical supplies, the organization requested the support of the WASH program, in charge of sanitizing and sanitizing water to allow human consumption, and thus avoid possible diseases that can be triggered by its contamination due to this type of natural disaster.
They warn about the vulnerability of children after the earthquake
The representative of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Afghanistan, Mohamed Ayoya, warned about the situation of vulnerability in which the earthquake leaves thousands of children, while stating that the Afghan authorities had requested his help.
Afghanistan usually suffers from earthquakes that leave dozens of victims, especially in the area known as Hindu Kush, with great seismic activity and the usual point of origin of telluric movements in the region.
earthquakes in afghanistan
Afghanistan has a long history of sismos, many in the mountainous areas of the Hindu Kush region, bordering Pakistan. If the death toll is confirmed, Tuesday's earthquake would be one of the deadliest in two decades. In March 2002, a strong double earthquake, precisely in the Hindu Kush, caused the death of 1.100 people.
In 2015, an earthquake of magnitude 7,7 in the same area caused more than a hundred deaths in Afghanistan and almost 300 deaths in Pakistan, a country in which there were more than 2.000 injuries and more than 36.000 houses were damaged or destroyed.
The most serious since 2005
The 5,9 earthquake that occurred on Tuesday is considered the most serious by number of victims recorded in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 2005, when an earthquake in Kashmir left 55.000 dead in the Pakistani area.
The most serious earthquakes in the last century in these countries occurred in 1935 and 2005, both in Pakistan. The first, on May 30, 1935, caused between 30.000 and 60.000 deaths, most of them in the Pakistani city of Quetta and in the province of Baluchistan.
The second, in October 2005, shook the Kashmir region, on the border between India and Pakistan, killing 55.000 people and injuring some 80.000 in the Pakistani area, and another 1.400 deaths in India.
The chronological list of the most serious earthquakes in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the last 30 years is as follows:
January 31, 1991.- An earthquake of magnitude 6,8, with an epicenter in the Hindukush mountain range, shook Afghanistan and Pakistan and caused around 1.200 deaths, 800 of them in Afghanistan.
February 1998.- Two earthquakes, which occurred on February 4 and 6 in the Rustaq district, in northern Afghanistan, with an intensity of 5,9 and 6, respectively, caused the death of at least 4.000 people.