6.1 Richter Earthquake Shakes Afghanistan, But Help is Coming
By: Chloe Wu
Last Thursday, a 6.1 Richter earthquake struck Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan, with an estimated 770 people killed and 1,440 people injured. With help from international humanitarian organizations, victims of this disaster are now receiving food, blankets, and other necessities.
Reuters reports, “An unknown number of people remained stuck under rubble and in outlying areas, health and aid workers said, and rescue operations were complicated by difficult conditions including heavy rains, landslides and many villages being nestled in inaccessible hillside areas.”
Additionally, many houses originally made from straw and clay were completely destroyed, leaving residents to bear the wind, rain, and snow while living in makeshift tents. Their personal belongings were buried underneath the piles of rubble; in a country where a third of the population struggle to obtain their basic needs, many despaired over getting the money to rebuild their lives.
“Every street you go, you hear people mourning the deaths of their beloved ones," a journalist in Paktika province told the BBC.
A survivor said through tears, “Now there is nothing — our houses are destroyed, we have nothing to eat, nothing to drink, nothing.”
However, aid is quickly being provided. According to a New York Times reporter in Afghanistan, in the village of Azor Kalai in Geyan District, “aid organizations and workers with the Taliban government’s Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development set up a makeshift aid distribution site. As dusk settled, crowds of men helped offload bags of flour, rice, and blankets from the backs of dust-covered trucks into bright blue tents, readying the items for distribution.”
The United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs in Afghanistan posted on Twitter, “Inter-agency assessment teams have already been deployed to a number of affected areas.”
Many victims are still buried under the rubble, and Islamic Emirate’s rescue teams are working to find them.