LPeople are digging grave after grave,” Paktika Provincial Information and Culture Department Chief Mohammad Amin Huzaifa said in a message to the press.
In his only province, the most affected with that of Khost, the toll “has reached 1,000 dead and this figure is increasing”, he said.
According to him, some 1,500 people were also injured in Paktika, in what is already the deadliest earthquake in Afghanistan in more than two decades.
“It is also raining and all the houses are destroyed. There are no tents or food. People are still trapped under the rubble (…) We need immediate help”, described Mr. Huzaifa.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres assured that the UN was “fully mobilized” to help Afghanistan, with the ongoing deployment of first aid teams and the shipment of medicine and food to the affected area. .
The Afghan government fears that the balance sheet will increase further, over the relief operations.
The earthquake, with a magnitude of 5.9, occurred at a depth of 10 km around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, very close to the border with Pakistan, according to the American Seismological Institute (USGS).
“We have two dead and five wounded in our family,” Arup Khan, a crusader survivor at the hospital in Sharan, the capital of Paktika province, told AFP.
“When I got up, I was covered in dust. People came and took us out. The situation was horrible (…) There were screams everywhere, the children and my whole family were under the mud,” he added.