920 dead and hundreds injured after earthquake in Afghanistan

An earthquake hit the eastern Afghan province of Paktika badly, killing hundreds and injuring many.

After the severe earthquake in the Afghan-Pakistani border region, the death toll has risen to 920, according to official figures. At least 600 other residents of the border provinces were injured in the quake late Tuesday evening (local time), Taliban Deputy Minister of State for Disaster Management, Maulawi Sharafuddin Muslim, said on Wednesday. The provinces of Paktika and Khost are particularly affected.

A spokesman for the ruling Taliban spoke of dozens of houses destroyed. Local media reported that one village was completely destroyed. Photos in the online networks show collapsed houses in the streets of a village. Videos also show residents of affected areas bringing the injured to a helicopter.

A helicopter evacuates injured people from Paktika province: Afghan media reports that one place was completely destroyed. (Source: Bakhtar News Agency/Reuters images)

Taliban call cabinet for emergency meeting

The rescue work was made more difficult by the access to the remote mountain region. The militant Islamist Taliban, who have ruled Afghanistan again since August 2021, called an emergency cabinet meeting. Several helicopters were sent to the disaster area to help local people. According to the civil protection authority, local emergency services tried to gain access to the remote region.

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