Taliban appeals to UN for aid after Afghan earthquake kills 1,000

23 Jun 2022 10:09am
On Wednesday, Taliban officials asked the United Nations to support them in terms of assessing the needs and responding to those affected - AFP pic
On Wednesday, Taliban officials asked the United Nations to support them in terms of assessing the needs and responding to those affected - AFP pic
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KABUL - The Taliban is appealing for international aid after Afghanistan was hit by a 5.9-magnitude earthquake that killed more than 1,000 people and injured 1,500 others, according to United Press International (UPI).

The quake struck early Wednesday about 28 miles southwest of Khost near the Pakistan border and was felt as far away as India. It was followed by a smaller quake measuring 4.5-magnitude.

Paktika province in the southeast was the hardest hit with rescue efforts being hampered by heavy rain and hail.

It is the deadliest earthquake to strike Afghanistan in two decades and comes less than a year after the Taliban regained power following the collapse of the Western-backed government.

On Wednesday, Taliban officials asked the United Nations to support them in terms of assessing the needs and responding to those affected, UPI cited Sam Mort from UNICEF's Kabul unit told the BBC.

Britain's special representative to Afghanistan, Nigel Casey, said the UK was in touch with the UN and was ready to contribute to the international response.

Dr. Ramiz Alakbarov, United Nations special representative to Afghanistan, tweeted that the UN is assessing the aftermath and offered condolences to the families of the victims.

The situation is quite critical, Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi told NBC News. Hundreds of houses are collapsed and we expect heavy human losses and serious damage to the infrastructure.
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Before the Taliban takeover, Afghanistan's emergency services were already stretched with few helicopters available to help rescue victims. There is also a shortage of medical supplies.

A journalist in the quake zone said communication after the quake has been difficult because of damage to mobile phone towers which could elevate the death toll even more, according to the BBC. - Bernama