DEADLY EARTHQUAKE OVERWHELMS AFGHANISTAN’S RESIDENTS
By: Alina Zheng
On June 22, 2022, Afghanistan was hit by a 5.9 magnitude earthquake, causing fatalities and injuries while also destroying communities, prompting government officials and countries to provide aid.
Since Afghanistan’s residents need a massive amount of support to restore their country, the doubt as to whether the Taliban government will be able to garner the massive amount of humanitarian effort to help areas damaged by the earthquake continues to linger.
Since the Taliban first took over the country last August, the Biden administration has refused to provide financial assistance for the group. As a result, the cabinet will have to find ways to send help to Afghanistan without the aid benefiting the Taliban government. The United States has also stopped the Taliban’s access to its seven-billion-dollar foreign currency stored in America’s federal reserves.
The earthquake in Afghanistan has harmed so many people throughout the country. The United Nations Humanitarian Office estimated that 770 people were killed and around 1,440 people were injured but warned others that the numbers may increase.
The aftershock has also ruined communities and left many homeless. Geyan, a district located near Afghanistan and Pakistan’s border, is one of the areas that has been struck the hardest. The U.N. agency reported approximately 1,500 houses were destroyed.
Many people have been impacted by the disaster. Survivor, Ali Mohammad, arrived at an aid distribution site to receive support to rebuild his home, which had been destroyed because of the earthquake. Three of his cousins were killed as his house collapsed, and his remaining 16 family members, who survived, now temporarily live in a tent. He told reporters, “I am too sad for us all. We either have to wait for aid to rebuild our house, or we’ll be displaced and have to leave everything that’s destroyed here,” he said.
New York Times journalists who traveled to Geyan described the scene as an example of the immense damage the earthquake has produced. Despite the harrowing outcome, they observed the outpouring of support for the affected, sighting almost all the cars they passed were carrying some form of aid. Even though there has been widespread assistance, many impacted areas are isolated which presents challenges to reach those communities.
Survivors of the earthquake witnessed entire villages being wiped out. The aftermath of the earthquake wasn’t trouble-free because they had to live with no shelter on cold nights, which were often filled with heavy rain, wind, and snow.
The Afghanistan earthquake has left so many people without a safe place to inhabit. However, there has been a tremendous amount of effort to aid those who have been affected by the disaster.