Rescuers tried yesterday to help the victims of the earthquake that left at least a thousand dead in southeastern Afghanistan, in adverse conditions due to lack of resources, mountainous terrain and heavy rains.
The 5.9-magnitude quake struck early Wednesday in a poor, hard-to-reach rural region bordering Pakistan.
It is the deadliest earthquake in Afghanistan in more than two decades. At least 1,000 people were killed and 1,500 injured in Paktika province alonethe most affected.
Authorities fear the death toll will rise further as many people remain trapped under the rubble.
Afghanistan only has a very limited number of helicopters and planes. The UN, which said that at least 2,000 houses had been destroyed – each with an average of seven or eight inhabitants – also pointed to the lack of equipment to remove debris.
The unrecognized Taliban government asked the international community and humanitarian organizations for help. But NGOs and UN agencies are less present than before in the country since the Taliban returned to power.
However, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the UN was “fully mobilized” to help with the upcoming first aid deployment and the shipment of medicine and food.
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