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Kabul: Afghan officials on Thursday struggled to reach a remote area hit by an earthquake that killed 1,000 people, but poor communication and a lack of proper roads hampered their efforts, officials said.
A 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck early Wednesday in arid mountains with small settlements near the border with Pakistan, about 160 km southeast of Kabul.
“We can’t reach the area, the network is too weeks, we’re trying to get updates,” Mohammad Ismail Muawiyah, spokesman for the top Taliban military commander in the hardest-hit Paktika province, told Reuters, referring to the telephone network. .
He said about 1,000 people died and 1,500 were injured in the quake. More than 3,000 homes were destroyed.
He said around 600 people were rescued from different affected areas on Wednesday night.
The rescue operation will be a major test for radical Islamist Taliban officials, who took over the country last August after two decades of war and were cut off from much international aid because of sanctions.
The Taliban-led Defense Ministry is leading the rescue efforts.
Afghan media published images of homes turning to rubble and bodies wrapped in blankets on the ground in the hours following the quake.
Accurate information from remote mountain villages has been limited.
Large parts of South Asia are seismically active because a tectonic plate known as the Indian Plate is pushing northwards into the Eurasian Plate.
In 2015, an earthquake struck the far Afghan northeast, killing several hundred people in Afghanistan and adjacent northern Pakistan.