Many children feared dead in earthquake in Afghanistan

Photo: Twitter/Kabir Haqmal

Photo: Twitter/Kabir Haqmal

Kabul | Doctors in Afghanistan say that many children may have been killed in Wednesday’s earthquake, media reports said.

More than 1,000 people died in the disaster, while heavy rain, threadbare resources and rugged terrain are hampering rescue workers, BBC reported.

Unknown numbers are still buried under the rubble of ruined, often mud-built homes by the 6.1 magnitude earthquake. Communication networks have also been badly hit.

One woman at a hospital in Paktika province told reporters that she lost 19 family members in the quake, BBC reported.

“Seven in one room, five in another, four in another, then three in another, have all been killed in my family,” she said.

The Taliban authorities have called for more international aid.

The United Nations is among those scrambling to provide emergency shelter and food aid to the remote areas in Paktika.

Survivors and rescuers have told the BBC of villages completely destroyed near the epicentre of the quake, of ruined roads and mobile phone towers — and of their fears that the death toll will rise further.

Some 1,500 people have also been injured, officials said.

Most of the casualties found so far have been in the Gayan and Barmal districts of Paktika. Locals said dozens of villages have collapsed.

“There was a rumbling and my bed began to shake,” a survivor called Shabir told the BBC.

“The ceiling fell down. I was trapped, but I could see the sky. My shoulder was dislocated, my head was hurt but I got out. I am sure that seven or nine people from my family, who were in the same room as me, are dead.”

A mother of six who was badly injured in the earthquake said many in her village had been killed, including seven of her own family members.

“We are very poor. We cannot reconstruct our homes again. We have nothing to eat,” she said.

All her family’s food supplies are buried under the rubble.

“There is nowhere to go. I demand the Taliban to rebuild our houses,” she added.


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