Death toll of devastating Afghan quake climbs to 1,100
Kabul, June 24 (IANS) The Taliban-led government in Afghanistan has announced that the death toll in the devastating 6.1-magnitude quake that hit Paktika province earlier this week has increased to 1,100, while the number of injured persons has also climbed to 1,600.
In a statement on Thursday, the Ministry of State for Disaster Management said that more than 1,000 of the injured are in critical condition and the number of the wounded is is increasing day by day, as some people are still trapped under the debris, reports TOLO News.
Local officials and residents of Paktika have said more than a thousand houses have been destroyed in the earthquake, deemed to be the deadliest in two decades, that struck the districts of Gayan and Barmal on Wednesday.
The epicentre was 44 km from Khost city and tremors were felt as far away as Pakistan and India.
The residents of the affected areas have also said they have nothing to eat and no shelter.
"People do not have tents, there is no food, people are living outdoors, we need everything," a resident told TOLO News.
They are also appealing to humanitarian agencies and the Taliban government to provide immediate assistance.
Afghan and international aid agencies are assessing the damage and delivering supplies, but this is a major and developing crisis, one which comes on top of the country's already dire humanitarian situation, says a BBC report.
The UN, which is also helping support victims, is warning of the risk of a possible cholera outbreak.
The government has announced that it will pay 100,000 Afs for the families of victims and 50,000 to those injured.
Afghanistan is prone to quakes, as it is located in a tectonically active region, over a number of fault lines including the Chaman fault, the Hari Rud fault, the Central Badakhshan fault and the Darvaz fault.
Over the past decade more than 7,000 people have been killed in earthquakes in the country, according to the UN's Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports.
There are an average of 560 deaths a year from earthquakes.
Most recently, back-to-back earthquakes in the country's west in January killed more than 20 people and destroyed hundreds of houses.