920 killed, 600 injured as powerful earthquake hits Afghanistan


A powerful earthquake of magnitude 6.1 shook an eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistani border early Wednesday, killing at least 920 people and injuring 600 others, according to a media report.

IMAGE: People carry injured to a helicopter following a massive earthquake, in Paktika Province, Afghanistan. Photograph: Bakhtar news agency via Reuters

Neighbouring Pakistan’s Meteorological Department said the epicenter of the quake was 44km southwest of Khost in Afghanistan at a depth of 50.8km. The quake struck at 1:54 am (local time).

Footage from Paktika province showed people being carried into helicopters to be airlifted from the area. Others were treated on the ground.

 

One resident could be seen receiving IV fluids while sitting in a plastic chair outside the rubble of his home and still more were sprawled on gurneys.

In Kabul, Prime Minister Mohammad Hassan Akhund convened an emergency meeting at the presidential palace to coordinate the relief effort for victims in Paktika and Khost.

IMAGE: People carry injured to be evacuated following a massive earthquake, in Paktika Province. Photograph: Bakhtar news agency via Reuters

The response is on its way, the United Nations resident coordinator in Afghanistan, Ramiz Alakbarov, said on Twitter.

One person killed in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province after the roof of his house collapsed following the tremors.

According to police, the man – a member of the local football team – was asleep inside his house in Lakki Marwat at the time the roof collapsed, the Express Tribune newspaper reported.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif in a statement offered his condolences over the earthquake, saying his nation will provide help to the Afghan people.



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