Interior ministry officials said on Wednesday that a 6.1-magnitude earthquake in Afghanistan has killed at least 280 people in the country’s east. ,
Interior ministry official Salahuddin Ayubi said most of the deaths were confirmed in the eastern Afghan province of Paktika, where 255 people were killed and more than 200 were injured.
He said 25 people were killed in Khost province and 90 were taken to hospital. “The death toll is likely to rise as some villages are in remote areas in the mountains and it will take some time to collect the details.”
Ayubi said authorities have launched a rescue operation and helicopters were being used to reach the injured and collect medical supplies and food.
Meanwhile, Afghan media pictures showed houses buried in rubble and bodies covered in blankets on the ground.
According to the US Geological Survey, the quake struck at 1:54 (PST) at a depth of 51 km, about 44 km (27 mi) from Khost city, near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Tremors of more than 500 km were felt by about 119 million people in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India.
In Pakistan, tremors were felt in Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore, Kohat, Mohmand, Swat, Buner and other parts of Punjab and KP.
People left their homes in panic and went to safer places. “It was strong,” said a resident of Peshawar. However, there were no immediate reports of damage or death.
The disaster comes as Afghanistan faces a severe economic crisis since the Taliban came to power in August, as US-led international forces retreated after two decades of war.
In response to the Taliban takeover, several governments have imposed sanctions on Afghanistan’s banking sector and cut billions of dollars in development aid.
Humanitarian aid continues and international agencies such as the United Nations operate in the country.
A spokesman for the Afghan Foreign Ministry said they would welcome help from any international organisation.
Large parts of South Asia are seismically active because a tectonic plate known as the Indian Plate is pushing north into the Eurasian Plate.
In 2015, an earthquake struck the far Afghan northeast, killing several hundred people in Afghanistan and adjacent northern Pakistan.
Pakistan expressed grief
Soon after the earthquake was reported, the Government of Pakistan expressed condolences and sympathies over the loss of life and loss of property in the neighboring country.
according to a radio pakistan report goodPrime Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that Pakistan stands with Afghan brothers and sisters in this difficult time and promised to provide all possible assistance.
Separately, a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “The people of Pakistan stand in strong solidarity with their Afghan brothers in this difficult time. We have no doubt that the brothers Afghan people are proud of their specialties in this natural Will overcome the effects of disaster. Resilience.”
It added that Pakistani authorities and institutions are coordinating with relevant Afghan institutions to provide necessary assistance in the affected areas.