Afghanistan Earthquake Survivors Wait for International Aid

Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Afghanistan Earthquake Survivors Wait for International Aid” – below is their description.

Survivors of last week’s deadly earthquake in Afghanistan have appealed for further assistance from the international community, as relief efforts stumble under the weight of the country’s spiraling economic woes.

36 people were killed and more than 1300 were injured in the magnitude 6 quake which destroyed 1500 houses in the Spera district of the Khost province on June 22, according to health department officials.

The quake struck a remote, deeply impoverished region of small towns and villages tucked among rough mountains near the Pakistani border, collapsing stone and mud-brick homes and in some cases killing entire families.

Nearly 3,000 homes were destroyed or badly damaged in Paktika and Khost provinces, state media reported.

The United Nations has put the death toll at 770 people but warned it could rise further. Either toll would make the quake Afghanistan’s deadliest in two decades.

In the village of Mir Sapar in Khost province, survivors were seen living in tents amid destroyed houses – one survivor said they had not yet received any assistance.

“All our houses are destroyed, and we cannot live inside them…we don’t have tents or place to stay,” said Tawar Khan.

Authorities and charities are struggling to access the far-flung region where the quake struck, and appear overwhelmed by the scale of the damage and the daunting task of debris removal, let alone reconstruction.

Many survivors who are now living tents are worried of harsh winter in their area and they believe if they are not assisted, life will get even tougher for them.

“We can live in the tent, but as soon as winter begins, and it is very cold, you can see what has happened to our house and what we are living with, we request the international community to help us get out of this situation,” said Mir Sapar village resident, Haji Manan.

In Khost city, injured victims are still being brought in for treatment, many of them women and children.

Khost provincial hospital director, Dr. Sayed Anwar Yousufzai, said mobile teams alongside other NGO’s working in health sector were working in quake affected areas, with serious cases being referred to the hospital.

The earthquake was the latest calamity to convulse Afghanistan, which has been reeling from a dire economic crisis since the Taliban took control of the country as the U.S. and its NATO allies were withdrawing their forces.

Foreign aid, a mainstay of Afghanistan’s economy for decades — stopped practically overnight.

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In This Story: Afghanistan

Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central and South Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south; Iran to the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north; and China to the northeast.

Occupying 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi), it is a mountainous country with plains in the north and southwest. Kabul is the capital and largest city. The population is around 32 million, composed mostly of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks.

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The Taliban or Taleban, who refer to themselves as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, is a Deobandi Islamist movement and military organization in Afghanistan, currently waging war within the country. Since 2016, the Taliban’s leader has been Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada.

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