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Taliban say Afghanistan earthquake rescue efforts almost full

Aid has began to arrive in a distant a part of Afghanistan the place an earthquake killed at the very least 1,000 individuals, as Taliban officers stated the rescue operation was almost full.

The magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck early on Wednesday about 160km (100 miles) southeast of Kabul, in arid mountains dotted with small settlements near the border with Pakistan.

Poor communications and an absence of correct roads are hampering aid efforts in a rustic already grappling with a humanitarian disaster which has escalated for the reason that Taliban took over final August.

“The rescue operation has finished, no one is trapped under (the) rubble,” Mohammad Ismail Muawiyah, a spokesman for the highest Taliban army commander within the hardest-hit Paktika province, advised the Reuters information company on Thursday.

Afghan People Place Their Clothes To Dry On Dried Out Shrubs Near The Ruins Of Houses Damaged By An Earthquake In Bernal District, Paktika Province
Afghan individuals place their garments to dry on dried out shrubs near the ruins of homes broken by an earthquake in Bernal district, Paktika province [Sahel Arman/AFP]

The United Nations stated on Thursday the Taliban ministry of defence had indicated as early as Wednesday that 90 per cent of search and rescue operations had been accomplished.

The earthquake killed about 1,000 individuals and injured 1,500, Muawiyah stated. More than 3,000 homes had been destroyed.

The dying toll makes it Afghanistan’s deadliest earthquake in 20 years, based on US authorities knowledge.

About 1,000 individuals had been rescued by Thursday morning, Sharafat Zaman, a spokesperson for the well being ministry, advised Reuters information company.

“Aid has arrived to the area and it is continuing but more is needed,” he stated.

Speaking to Al Jazeera from Paktika province, journalist Ali Latifi stated the scenario on the bottom was “really bad”.

“When you’re in these helicopters and you’re flying over these districts, you notice that they’re basically nestled in these mountains and in these hillsides that are all unpaved, rocky areas …  entire homes made of mud. Really poor areas where people have the most basic living standards,” he stated.

“Even the nearest clinic to one of the districts we were in, they said it’s 30 minutes away – and even that is a private clinic which would cost a lot of money for people to go to. And again getting there is extremely difficult.”

Calls for assist

The response to the catastrophe is a significant check for the Taliban, who took over as US-led worldwide forces withdrew after 20 years of conflict.

The humanitarian scenario has deteriorated alarmingly for the reason that Taliban takeover, assist officers say, with the nation lower off from a lot worldwide help due to sanctions.

Abdul Qahar Balkhi, spokesperson for the Afghan international ministry, on Thursday repeated requires extra worldwide assist to be offered.

“We call on natural disaster management agencies and the international community to provide immediate and comprehensive aid to the Afghan people,” he posted on twitter.

Afghanistan’s financial system has all however collapsed, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated in an attraction to assist donors in late March.

Drought has undermined meals manufacturing and 9 million Afghans face famine. Some households have been pressured to promote kids and organs to outlive, he stated.

Afghanistan Earthquake Destruction
Afghans stand amongst destruction after an earthquake in Gayan village [Ebrahim Nooroozi/AP Photo]

UN chief Guterres stated the worldwide company has “fully mobilised” to assist, deploying well being groups and provides of drugs, meals, trauma kits and emergency shelter to the earthquake zone.

The UN stated its World Food Programme (WFP) was sending meals and logistics tools to affected areas, with the intention of initially supporting 3,000 households.

“The Afghan people are already facing an unprecedented crisis following decades of conflict, severe drought and an economic downturn,” stated Gordon Craig, WFP deputy nation director in Afghanistan.

“The earthquake will only add to the already massive humanitarian needs they endure daily.”

Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates all stated on Thursday they plan to ship assist. Supplies from neighbour Pakistan have already crossed the border.


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