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Disastrous Earthquake Strikes Afghanistan

By: Emily Zhang

Disaster struck in southeastern Afghanistan when a 5.9-magnitude earthquake killed over a thousand people and injured 1,600 others. In Geyan alone, one of the districts that were severely affected in Paktika, More than 1,500 houses were damaged or destroyed. In the days since, attention has turned to providing aid to the survivors of what appeared to be the deadliest earthquake to hit Afghanistan in two decades.

Ambulances filled with medical workers treated injured people. Military helicopters buzzed overhead. A survivor told his account of what happened during the earthquake.

“It was like a bomb exploding,” Mr. Padhaw Gul, a laborer in Geyan said. For 15 utterly-terrifying minutes, the earthquake and aftershocks rocked the village around him. When the ground finally stood still, he could make out the lifeless faces of his cousin and his sister-in-law who had both been killed. He also saw limbs protruding from the rubble and heard the voices of his relatives shouting for help.

Padshah Gul felt lucky to be alive despite the many great things ( andpeople ) he lost when the earthquake struck. Mr. Gul and his brother were sleeping outside their shared family home when he heard a loud, low rumble from the mountains nearby. Within minutes, the ground beneath him began to shake and he could hear the walls of the house where his relatives were sleeping collapse.

“We didn’t expect they would survive,” Mr. Gul said, but he and his brother started digging — for more than eight hours. By the end they had rescued at least a dozen other family members alive.

Hundreds of other families had members killed and severely injured due to the quake. This earthquake tested president Joe Biden’s refusal to avoid direct aid to the Taliban, and by extension to Afghan in general. The public protested to let Biden to send help to the location to treat injured people and to prepare better for upcoming earthquakes.

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