| 29 November 2022, Tuesday |

Afghanistan seeks emergency medical supplies for earthquake survivors

A senior official stated on Friday that Afghanistan lacks the medical supplies needed to treat the injured due to the earthquake that killed 1,000 people. The hunt for survivors in the mountainous highlands of the southeast has been put to an end.

According to Mohammad Nassim Haqqani, a spokesperson for the disaster ministry, the early-morning earthquake caused about 2,000 injuries and partially or fully destroyed 10,000 homes.

Because of the severity of the crisis, “the health ministry does not have enough medications. We need medical aid and other essentials,” he claimed.

The 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck about 160 km (100 miles) southeast of Kabul near the Pakistani border, in a region of arid mountains dotted with small settlements that has was often contested over Afghanistan’s decades of war.

Poor communications and a lack of proper roads have hampered relief efforts in a country grappling with a humanitarian crisis that deteriorated sharply after the Taliban took over last August as U.S.-led international forces withdrew.

The disaster is a major test for the hardline Islamists, who have been largely isolated; shunned by many because of worries about human rights and cut off from much direct international assistance because of sanctions.

Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates all said on Thursday they planned to send aid. Supplies from Pakistan have already crossed the border.

India, which has a strained relationship with the Taliban, said it had sent 27 tonnes of supplies on two flights to be handed over to international aid agencies.

Haqqani said the search for survivors had been called off, some 48 hours after the disaster struck.

“The search operation has finished,” he said.

He did not elaborate on why. People have been pulled alive from the rubble of other earthquakes after considerably more time.

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.

  • Reuters