Warns of a great shortage of medical equipment

A magnitude 6.1 earthquake shook Afghanistan on Wednesday night. The earthquake is considered to be a very strong earthquake and has led to great destruction.

Afghan state media report over 1,000 dead and even more injured. But the situation is confusing and the number can be adjusted.

– There is a huge earthquake. It could be heard all the way to Kabul, says Terje Watterdal to TV 2.

CHAOS: It is chaotic in Afghanistan after an earthquake hit the country on Wednesday.  Photo: Bakhtar News Agency via Reuters

CHAOS: It is chaotic in Afghanistan after an earthquake hit the country on Wednesday. Photo: Bakhtar News Agency via Reuters

He has extensive experience working in Afghanistan and is the country director of the Afghanistan Committee. The quake affected Paktika province, located south of the capital Kabul and bordering neighboring Pakistan.

Watterdal tells TV 2 that they have been in talks with local authorities about the rescue work.

– Coordination with the authorities has gone well, but very many of those in positions in Afghanistan have very little management experience, he says.

The Taliban took power in Afghanistan last year and most recently in January paid a diplomatic visit to Norway.

This is where the rescue helicopter arrives

Great lack of equipment

There is already a great shortage of capacity in Afghan hospitals and the country is generally ill-equipped for such a natural disaster.

– The health service is injured. There is very little capacity. There will be a huge need for medicines and health professionals in the future. That is what is lacking in Afghanistan, says Watterdal.

Aid organizations are now working to assist in the area.

– It is important that we continue to provide support when this immediate disaster is over. Our work will not be over the next few days, says Torben Bjørke Henriksen, senior adviser to the Asia Red Cross to TV 2.

EVACUATION: People tried to evacuate and help those who were injured in the earthquake on Wednesday.  Photo: Bakhtar News Agency via AP

EVACUATION: People tried to evacuate and help those who were injured in the earthquake on Wednesday. Photo: Bakhtar News Agency via AP

Bjørke Henriksen emphasizes that the earthquake will require a lot in the future. At the same time, many inhabitants of the country suffer from very demanding conditions from before.

– We are now sending all available resources we have in the country to this earthquake area.

Norway will also contribute five million kroner through the Red Cross movement to assist with immediate life-saving help, writes the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a press release.

– It is terrible to see how hard the Afghan people are affected by the earthquake in the east of the country. The situation is critical, and it is urgent to save people from the ruins, says Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt, according to the press release.

One hundred thousand homeless

– The quake destroyed the house of our neighbors. There were many dead and wounded. “I also saw many dead bodies,” Faisa, a local resident, told Reuters.

Hundreds of thousands have also become homeless last night.

– It is an area where almost all houses are built of clay and which are not able to withstand an earthquake, Watterdal says to TV 2.

Humanitarian disaster

Afghanistan has already been hit by a serious humanitarian catastrophe. Many children suffer from acute malnutrition and starve to death.

The UN has estimated that more than 1 million children under the age of 5 will suffer from severe malnutrition in Afghanistan by the end of this year.

MISTAKE: A little girl receives treatment for malnutrition at a hospital in Kabul in May this year.  Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi / AP

MISTAKE: A little girl receives treatment for malnutrition at a hospital in Kabul in May this year. Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi / AP

Since the Taliban took power in the country, women’s rights have been severely curtailed. Afghan women are no longer allowed to be out in public without covering up.

Several women and men have opposed the new and strict enforcement of the laws. A few weeks ago, female news anchors received a great deal of international attention after they were refused to be on television without wearing the hijab. You can read more about the case here.

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