WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- A magnitude 5.9 earthquake hit Afghanistan on Wednesday morning, the US Geological Survey said.
- The powerful quake left at least 1,000 people dead and 1,500 others injured.
- An official predicted the death toll will likely rise as there were still a lot of people missing.
Afghanistan was hit by a strong earthquake on Wednesday morning, leaving at least 1,000 people dead, a local official said. Reports say it is the highest death toll from an earthquake this year so far.
The US Geological Survey said it had a magnitude of 5.9, down from an initial report of 6.1.
Mohammad Amin Hozaifa, the information and culture director of the Paktika region, told Reuters that the death toll was at 1,000 and that 1,500 more were injured. He predicted that “this number might go up, many families have been lost.”
The earthquake, which was recorded 28.6 miles southwest of the city of Khōst, destroyed at least 1,800 homes, the USGS said.
Salahuddin Ayubi, a Taliban official with Afghanistan’s interior ministry, also predicted that the death toll would likely rise as “some of the villages are in remote areas in the mountains and it will take some time to collect details,” Reuters reported. The death toll was at 950 when he made those comments to the outlet.
One resident who was interviewed byReuters said: “It was midnight when the quake struck. The kids and I screamed. One of our rooms was destroyed. Our neighbors screamed and we saw everyone’s rooms.”
The International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Health Organization are teaming up to provide aid and medical supplies to the impacted regions.
In January, 27 people were killed after a 5.3 magnitude earthquake struck Qadhis district, also in Afghanistan. It was the second-deadliest earthquake this year.
Aside from the deadly earthquake, Afghanistan continues to be crippled by humanitarian crises, economic woes, and sporadic violence, about 10 months since the Taliban regained power after US troops left the nation in August 2021.
Source: NBC News