Powerful earthquake kills at least 255 in Afghanistan
Information about the magnitude 6 earthquake that struck Paktika province is scarce, but it comes as the international community has largely left Afghanistan. Taliban The acquisition of the country last year.
That would likely complicate any relief efforts for this country of 38 million people.
The state-run Bakhtar news agency reported the death toll and said rescue teams were arriving by helicopter. News agency director general Abdul Wahid Ryan wrote Twitter 90 houses have been destroyed in Paktika and dozens are buried under the rubble.
Footage from Paktika province near the Pakistan border showed victims being taken in helicopters to be airlifted from the area. Images circulating widely online from the province showed destroyed stone houses, with residents picking up mud bricks and other debris.
Bakhtar posted footage of a resident receiving IV fluids from a plastic chair outside the rubble of his home and others being stretched out on gurneys.
“A severe earthquake shook four districts of Paktika province, killing and injuring hundreds of our countrymen and destroying dozens of homes,” Taliban government deputy spokesman Bilal Karimi wrote separately on Twitter. “We urge all aid agencies to immediately send teams to the area to prevent further devastation.”
The Meteorological Department of neighboring Pakistan put the magnitude of the quake at 6.1. Tremors were felt in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad and other parts of East Punjab province.
The European Seismological Agency, EMSC, said the tremors were felt more than 500 kilometers (310 miles) by 119 million people in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
Mountainous Afghanistan and large areas of South Asia, where the Indian tectonic plate collides with the Eurasian plate in the north, have long been vulnerable to devastating earthquakes.
In 2015, a major earthquake that struck the country’s northeast killed more than 200 people in Afghanistan and neighboring northern Pakistan.