Family shattered in Afghanistan, but girl also died
The devastating earthquake that struck Afghanistan on June 22 has wreaked havoc. According to Afghanistan’s state news agency, 1,000 people were killed and 1,500 were injured in an earthquake in the country’s east. However, this number may increase further. The photo was tweeted by Afghan cricketer Syed Abdullah and appealed for help. He wrote, “This little Afghan girl is the only survivor of her family, who has killed more than 1,000 people in the devastating earthquake in Afghanistan.” Afghanistan is in dire need of foreign aid as it struggles to meet basic needs under US sanctions.
The earthquake occurred on Wednesday morning. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the epicenter of the quake was reported at a depth of 51 km, about 44 km (27 mi) from the city of Khost in southeastern Afghanistan. The European-Mediterranean Earthquake Center gave the quake a magnitude of 6.1, while the USGSA said it was 5.9.
According to Mohammad Nasim Haqqani, the head of the Taliban administration’s disaster management authority, more people have died in Nangarhar and Khost than in Paktika. Salahuddin Ayubi, a Interior Ministry official in the Taliban government, said there were so many deaths that graves had to be dug continuously to bury the dead. Many bodies are still buried under the rubble. The country’s top leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada, said the area was mountainous and inaccessible, so rescue would take time.
Paktika’s director of information and culture, Mohammad Amin Hozaifa, said the people of eastern Afghanistan were already leading a difficult life and now the earthquake has disrupted their lives. The situation here has worsened since the Taliban came to power in August. Pictures circulating in the Afghan media show houses buried under rubble and bodies wrapped in blankets.
Salahuddin Ayubi, an interior ministry official in the Taliban government, said helicopters had been deployed to reach the wounded and deliver medical-food supplies. Ayub said most of the deaths were confirmed in the eastern province of Paktika, where 255 people were killed and more than 200 were injured. In Khost province, 25 people died and 90 were taken to hospital.