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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Afghanistan earthquake kills at least 1,000 but toll expected to rise

    KABUL, June 22 (Reuters) – The death toll from an earthquake in Afghanistan on Wednesday hit 1,000, disaster management officials said, with more than 600 injured and the toll expected to grow as information trickles in from remote mountain villages.

    Houses were reduced to rubble and bodies swathed in blankets lay on the ground, photographs on Afghan media showed

    Helicopters were deployed in the rescue effort to reach the injured and fly in medical supplies and food, interior ministry official Salahuddin Ayubi said.

    “The death toll is likely to rise as some of the villages are in remote areas in the mountains and it will take some time to collect details,” he said.

    Wednesday’s quake was the deadliest in Afghanistan since 2002. It struck about 44 km (27 miles) from the southeastern city of Khost, near the border with Pakistan, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGC) said.

    Disaster management officials said at least 1,000 are dead and 600 injured. However, local officials put the number of injured higher.

    “1,000 dead, 1,500 injured, and this number might go up, many families have been lost. Injured people have been taken to Kabul and Gardez,” Mohammad Amin Hozaifa, information and culture director of Paktika, told Reuters.

    Most of the confirmed deaths were in the eastern province of Paktika, where 255 people were killed and more than 200 injured, Ayubi added. In the province of Khost, 25 were dead and 90 had been taken to hospital.

    Haibatullah Akhundzada, the supreme leader of the ruling Taliban, offered his condolences in a statement.

    Mounting a rescue operation will prove a major test for the Taliban, who took over the country last August and have been cut off from much international assistance because of sanctions.

    Shaking was felt by about 119 million people in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India, the EMSC said on Twitter, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties in Pakistan.

    The EMSC put the earthquake’s magnitude at 6.1, though the USGC said it was 5.9.

    Adding to the challenge for Afghan authorities is recent flooding in many regions, which the disaster agency said had killed 11, injured 50 and blocked stretches of highway.

    The disaster comes as Afghanistan grapples with a severe economic crisis since the Taliban took over as U.S.-led international forces withdrew following two decades of war.

    In response to the Taliban takeover, many nations imposed sanctions on Afghanistan’s banking sector and cut billions of dollars worth of development aid.

    Humanitarian aid has continued, however, with international agencies, such as the United Nations, operating.

    The U.N.’s office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said Afghanistan had asked humanitarian agencies to help with rescue efforts, and teams were being sent to the quake-hit area.

    A foreign ministry spokesman said the Taliban would welcome international help. Neighbouring Pakistan said it was working to extend assistance.

    Large parts of South Asia are seismically active because a tectonic plate known as the Indian plate is pushing north into the Eurasian plate.

    In 2015, an earthquake struck the remote Afghan northeast, killing several hundred people in Afghanistan and nearby northern Pakistan.

    In January, an earthquake struck western Afghanistan, killing more than 20 people.

    Afghanistan earthquake kills at least 1,000 but toll expected to rise | Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world

  2. #2
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    Afghanistan's Taliban rulers plead for aid after the country's deadliest earthquake

    Afghanistan's Taliban rulers plead for aid after the country's deadliest earthquake in two decades

    Aid agencies have rushed assistance to eastern areas of Afghanistan after a powerful 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck the country early on Wednesday, killing more than 1,000 people.
    Key points:

    • The Taliban's supreme leader has pleaded with the international community "to spare no effort"
    • It was Afghanistan's worst earthquake in two decades, with fears the death toll could rise
    • Centred in Paktika province, south-west of the city of Khost, the quake struck at 2:24am, local time

    The disaster posed a new test for Afghanistan's Taliban rulers and relief agencies already struggling with the country's multiple humanitarian crises.
    Officials said the quake was Afghanistan's deadliest in two decades, and its death toll could rise.
    An estimated 1,500 other people were reported injured, the state-run news agency said.
    The disaster heaps more misery on a country where millions face increasing hunger and poverty and a health system that has been crumbling since the Taliban retook power nearly 10 months ago.
    That takeover led to a cutting-off of vital international financing, and most of the world has since shunned the Taliban government.
    The Taliban's supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhundzadah — who almost never appears in public — pleaded with the international community and humanitarian organisations "to help the Afghan people affected by this great tragedy and to spare no effort".

    Haibatullah Akhundzadah pleaded the international community for assistance.(AP)Residents in the remote area near the Pakistani border searched for victims, dead or alive, by digging with their bare hands through the rubble, according to footage shown by the Bakhtar news agency.
    At least 2,000 homes were destroyed in the region where, on average, every household has seven or eight people living in it, said the UN's deputy special representative to Afghanistan, Ramiz Alakbarov.
    Helicopters sent to evacuate the injured

    The full extent of the destruction among the villages tucked in the mountains has been slow in coming to light.
    Its roads — which are rutted and difficult to travel in the best of circumstances — may have been further damaged, and landslides from recent rains had already made access more difficult.
    Rescuers rushed in by helicopter, but the relief effort may be hindered by the exodus of many international aid agencies from Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover last August.

    Helicopters have helped evacuate the injured because roads are badly damaged.(Reuters: Bakhtar News Agency)Moreover, most governments are wary of dealing directly with the Taliban.
    Mr Alakbarov said the Taliban had not formally requested that the UN mobilise international search-and-rescue teams nor asked to obtain equipment from neighbouring countries.
    Still, officials from multiple UN agencies said the Taliban were giving them full access to the area.
    The quake was centred in Paktika province, about 50 kilometres south-west of the city of Khost, according to neighbouring Pakistan's Meteorological Department.
    Experts put its depth at just 10 kilometres. Shallow earthquakes tend to cause more damage.

    Most of the confirmed deaths were in the province of Paktika, with deaths also reported in the eastern provinces of Nangarhar and Khost.The European seismological agency said the quake was felt more than 500km away by 119 million people across Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
    Baktar news agency reports the death toll to date is equal to that of a quake in 2002 in northern Afghanistan.
    Those have been the deadliest since 1998, when an earthquake that was also magnitude-6.1 and subsequent tremors in the remote north-east killed at least 4,500 people.
    Wednesday's quake took place in a region prone to landslides, with many older, weaker buildings.
    "The fear is that the victims will increase further, also because many people could be trapped under collapsed buildings," said Afghanistan country director for the Italian medical aid group Emergency, Stefano Sozza.
    That aid group sent seven ambulances and staff to areas near the quake zone.
    Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.[COLOR=var(--card-media-indicator-text,#fff)]
    WATCHDuration: 53 seconds53s

    Hundreds killed in Afghanistan after earthquake shakes country.Aid agencies send assistance to earthquake-stricken areas

    More than 60 per cent of Afghanistan's population of 38 million already relies on international aid to survive.
    Humanitarian agencies still operating in the country, including UNICEF, rushed supplies to the quake-stricken areas. And Pakistan said it would send food, tents, blankets and other essentials.

    Aid agencies have rushed supplies to earthquake affected areas.(Reuters: Parwiz)Obtaining more direct international help may be more difficult because many countries, including the US, funnel humanitarian aid to Afghanistan through the UN and other such organisations to avoid putting money in the Taliban's hands.
    Malnutrition levels skyrocket in war-torn Afghanistan

    Aid workers say the number of "dangerously malnourished" children they are treating has more than doubled in the past five months, with some dying before they can reach a hospital.

    Read more

    The quake "will only add to the immense humanitarian needs in Afghanistan, and it really has to be 'all hands on deck' to make sure that we really limit the suffering that families, that women and children, are already going through," UN spokesperson for World Food Program in Kabul Shelley Thakral said.
    Afghanistan's Prime Minister, Mohammad Hassan Akhund, convened an emergency meeting at the presidential palace.
    "When such a big incident happens in any country, there is a need for help from other countries," the country's Deputy Minister of State for Disaster Management, Sharafuddin Muslim, said.
    "It is very difficult for us to be able to respond to this huge incident."
    Receiving international assistance may prove difficult, given the international isolation of Afghanistan under the Taliban, who were initially toppled from power by the US after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. However, the abrupt withdrawal of US and other nations' troops last year left a vacuum that the Taliban quickly filled.
    The newly restored government has issued a flurry of edicts curtailing the rights of women and girls and the news media in a turn back toward the Taliban's harsh rule from the late 1990s.
    "This does add a lot to the daily burden of survival," the UN's Mr Alakbarov said of the quake. "We are not optimistic today."

    YOUTUBEAfghanistan earthquake death toll hits 1,000, at least 1,500 more injured.


  3. #3
    Thailand Expat
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    Today @ 01:09 PM
    Interesting that they are asking for help now, but how long before that tune changes. Pity the people living there.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Really. Those poor people never get a break.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat VocalNeal's Avatar
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    Today @ 01:01 PM
    The Kingdom of Lanna

  6. #6
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    Today @ 02:30 AM
    Help the Taliban or not help?

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Death toll from Afghanistan’s quake rises to 1,150 people

    GAYAN, Afghanistan (AP) — The death toll from a devastating earthquake in Afghanistan continued to climb days after it turned brick and stone homes into rubble, killing 1,150 people and wounding scores more, according to the latest figures carried in state media on Friday.

    The country of 38 million people was already in the midst of a spiraling economic crisis that had plunged millions deep into poverty with over a million children at risk of severe malnutrition.

    The magnitude 6 quake on Wednesday struck in the night as people were sleeping, leaving thousands who survived without shelter. State media reported that close to 3,000 homes were destroyed or badly damaged.

    Aid organizations like the local Red Crescent and World Food Program have stepped in to assist the most vulnerable families with food and other emergency needs like tents and sleeping mats in Paktika province, the epicenter of the earthquake, and neighboring Khost province.

    Still, residents appeared to be largely on their own to deal with the aftermath as their new Taliban-led government and the international aid community struggle to bring in help. Villagers have been burying their dead and digging through the rubble by hand in search of survivors.

    The Taliban director of the state-run Bakhtar News Agency said Friday the death toll had risen to 1,150 people from previous reports of 1,000 killed. Abdul Wahid Rayan said at least 1,600 people were injured.

    The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has put the death toll at 770 people.

    It’s not clear how death toll counts are being reached, given the difficulties of accessing and communicating with the impacted villages. Either grim toll would make the quake Afghanistan’s deadliest in two decades.

    In the district of Gayan, at least 1,000 homes were damaged by the earthquake. Another 800 homes in the Spera district of Khost province were also damaged. While modern buildings withstand magnitude 6 earthquakes elsewhere, Afghanistan’s mud-brick homes and landslide-prone mountains make such quakes more dangerous.

    In villages across Gayan district, toured by Associated Press journalists for hours Thursday, families who had spent the previous rainy night out in the open lifted pieces of timber of collapsed roofs and pulled away stones by hand, looking for missing loved ones. Taliban fighters circulated in vehicles in the area, but only a few were seen helping dig through the rubble.

    There was little sign of heavy equipment — only one bulldozer was spotted being transported. Ambulances circulated, but little other help to the living was evident. One 6-year-old boy in Gayan wept as he said his parents, two sisters and a brother were all dead. He had fled the ruins of his own home and took refuge with the neighbors.

    Many international aid agencies withdrew from Afghanistan when the Taliban seized power last August. Those that remain are scrambling to get medical supplies, food and tents to the remote quake-struck area, using shoddy mountain roads made worse by damage and rains. U.N. agencies are also facing a $3 billion funding shortfall for Afghanistan this year.

    Germany, Norway and several other countries announced they were sending aid for the quake, but underscored that they would work only through U.N. agencies, not with the Taliban, which no government has officially recognized as of yet. Nations have called on the Taliban to first address human rights concerns, chief among them the rights and freedoms of Afghan women and girls.

    The International Rescue Committee has emergency health teams in the two provinces to deliver essential first aid and said it is providing cash support to families who have lost their homes and livelihoods in the earthquake. The organization, which has been operating in Afghanistan since 1988, is calling for an international effort to ultimately release Afghanistan’s foreign exchange reserves.

    The Taliban’s takeover of the country last year as the U.S. was preparing to withdraw its troops prompted the Biden administration’s decision to freeze around $9.5 billion that the Afghan central bank has in U.S. banks, hampering the new rulers’ efforts to pay civil servants and import goods.

    Trucks of food and other necessities arrived from Pakistan, and planes full of humanitarian aid landed from Iran and Qatar. India humanitarian relief and a technical team to the capital, Kabul, to coordinate the delivery of humanitarian assistance. India says its aid will be handed over to a U.N. agency on the ground and the Afghan Red Crescent Society.

    In Paktika province, the quake shook a region of deep poverty, where residents scrape out in a living in the few fertile areas among the rough mountains. Roads are so difficult that some villages in Gayan District took a full day to reach from Kabul, though it is only 175 kilometers (110 miles away.)

    There are projections, quoted by the U.N. and others, that poverty rates may climb as high as 97% of the population and unemployment to 40% this year.

    Death toll from Afghanistan's quake rises to 1,150 people | Thai PBS World : The latest Thai news in English, News Headlines, World News and News Broadcasts in both Thai and English. We bring Thailand to the world

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