A severe earthquake killed more than 1,000 people in eastern Afghanistan

Nearly 1,000 people were reported to have died in Afghanistan's earthquake-prone eastern mountains when tremors struck in the middle of the night and people slept in their homes.

USA About: Earthquake Publish: Last Thursday at 11:05 PM Edit: Last Thursday at 11:05 PM Author: Gardener

AfghanistanKabul, Afghanistan -- A powerful earthquake struck eastern Afghanistan early Wednesday, killing more than 1,000 people, according to officials in the country's ruling Taliban regime. Muhammad Amin Hafiza, the head of information and culture in the hard-hit Paktika province, told CBS News over the phone that the death toll had risen to over 1,000 in his province alone and more than 1,500 others were injured. "Some families have disappeared completely," Hafiza said, as images of collapsed homes emerged across the region. Information was slow to emerge after the 5.9-magnitude quake struck Afghanistan's Khost and Paktika provinces around 1:30 a.m. local time. The earthquake was felt in large parts of the country, including in the capital Kabul. The disaster came just months before the one-year anniversary of the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan. The relative lack of personnel and infrastructure from foreign governments and international aid agencies in the country would likely complicate relief efforts, but various organizations were quick to say help was on the way. Videos and photos shared on social media showed military helicopters rushing to the area to evacuate the wounded. Mawlawi Elyas Nasiri, regional director of the Afghan Red Crescent Society in eastern Afghanistan, said ambulances and rescuers had arrived at the scene and efforts were underway to find and assist victims. He said it was about a 3.5-hour drive from the provincial capital to the earthquake area and some people were likely still trapped under the rubble. N. and Italy-based medical charity EMERGENCY said they are mobilizing and deploying resources to help quake victims. N. Officials in the country said an estimated 2,000 homes were destroyed in the earthquake zone. "Due to landslides and blocked roads, we are still unable to reach some of the communities," Sam Mort, UNICEF's director of communications, advocacy and civic engagement, told CBS news correspondent Pamela Falk, estimating that 1,800 Houses were destroyed in Gayan district. And, you know, we fear there are still people trapped under the rubble." National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement that President Joe Biden "has been monitoring developments and has directed USAID and other federal government partners to assess U.S. response capabilities to help those most affected.” Sullivan said the U. Kawsar, a resident of a village in Paktika's Gayan district, told CBS News over the phone that 24 people in his village, including his father, were killed when the quake struck, and more than 30 others wounded. "Two children and two women are among the victims of one family," he said, urging the government to provide assistance immediately. Another Gayan district resident, Juma Khan, 28, told CBS News' Sami Yousafzai The Phone that he was "shaken awake" at around 1:30 a.m. and quickly realized that it was an earthquake. "I've never felt an earthquake like this in my entire life," he told CBS News. It collapsed on them and me, his wife found dead, while my brother there and his three children were wounded under rubble. "In our village Most houses collapsed, killing dozens and injuring dozens more from the impact," Khan said. Taliban chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said an emergency meeting was held at the presidential palace in Kabul and officials were instructed to help the earthquake victims to render any assistance possible.Eastern Afghanistan, along with neighboring states along South Asia's Hindu Kush mountain range, is highly prone to large earthquakes as the mountains lie above an active geological fault line.Many of the homes, hospitals and other buildings in the region are poorly constructed and can collapse easily in earthquakes In 2015 A major quake in 2015 killed more than 200 M people in the region. Another earthquake of similar magnitude to Wednesday's in 2002 killed about 1,000 people in northern Afghanistan.

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