KABUL, Afghanistan –

An earthquake struck jap Afghanistan early Wednesday, killing not less than 255 individuals, authorities mentioned.

Data remained scarce on the magnitude 6 temblor that struck Paktika province, but it surely comes because the worldwide group largely has left Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover of the nation final 12 months amid the chaotic withdrawal of the U.S. army from the longest battle in its historical past.

That possible will complicate any reduction efforts for this nation of 38 million individuals.

The state-run Bakhtar information company reported the loss of life toll and mentioned rescuers have been arriving by helicopter. The information company’s director-general, Abdul Wahid Rayan, wrote on Twitter that 90 homes have been destroyed in Paktika and dozens of individuals are believed trapped below the rubble.

Footage from Paktika province close to the Pakistan border confirmed victims being carried into helicopters to be airlifted from the world. Photographs extensively circulating on-line from the province confirmed destroyed stone homes, with residents choosing by means of clay bricks and different rubble.

Bakhtar posted footage of a resident receiving IV fluids from a plastic chair outdoors the rubble of his house and others sprawled on gurneys.

“A extreme earthquake shook 4 districts of Paktika province, killing and injuring a whole lot of our countrymen and destroying dozens of homes,” Bilal Karimi, a deputy spokesman for the Taliban authorities, individually wrote on Twitter. “We urge all help businesses to ship groups to the world instantly to forestall additional disaster.”

In neighbouring Khost province, authorities believed there are additionally dozens injured and useless within the earthquake as effectively, Rayan mentioned.

Neighbouring Pakistan’s Meteorological Division put the earthquake at a magnitude 6.1. Tremors have been felt within the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, and elsewhere within the jap Punjab province. Some distant areas of Pakistan noticed experiences of injury to houses close to the Afghan border, but it surely wasn’t instantly clear if that was attributable to rain or the earthquake, mentioned Taimoor Khan, a catastrophe administration spokesperson within the space.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif in a press release supplied his condolences over the earthquake, saying his nation will present assist to the Afghan individuals.

The European seismological company, EMSC, mentioned the earthquake’s tremors have been felt over 500 kilometres by 119 million individuals throughout Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

Mountainous Afghanistan and the bigger area of South Asia alongside the Hindu Kush mountains, the place the Indian tectonic plate collides with the Eurasian plate to the north, has lengthy been susceptible to devastating earthquakes. Poor development for houses, hospitals and different buildings put them susceptible to collapse in earthquakes, whereas landslides stay frequent throughout the mountains of Afghanistan.

In 2015, a significant earthquake that struck the nation’s northeast killed over 200 individuals in Afghanistan and neighbouring northern Pakistan. An analogous 6.1 earthquake in 2002 killed about 1,000 individuals in northern Afghanistan. And in 1998, a 6.1-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tremors in Afghanistan’s distant northeast killed not less than 4,500 individuals.


Related Press writers Rahim Faiez and Munir Ahmed in Islamabad and Jon Gambrell and Isabel DeBre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report.

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