'Digging grave after grave': 1000 killed as powerful earthquake jolts Afghanistan - Latest updates
The death toll from an overnight earthquake in Afghanistan has reached at least 1,000, an official from one of the worst-hit provinces said
At least 920 people were killed after a massive earthquake of magnitude 6.1 jolted Afghanistan early on Wednesday (June 22). The disaster management officials in the country informed that more than 600 were injured.
As per the officials, the death toll is expected to rise in the aftermath of Afghanistan's deadliest earthquake in two decades.
The 6.1 magnitude quake has caused massive damage. The quake struck about 44 km from the city of Khost, near the Pakistani border, the US Geological Survey (USGC) said.
Shaking was felt by about 119 million people in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India, the EMSC said on Twitter.
Images and videos by news agencies, social media and Afghan media showed houses reduced to rubble, with bodies swathed in blankets lying on the ground.
"The number [death toll] is increasing. People are digging grave after grave," Mohammad Amin Huzaifa, head of the Information and Culture Department in Paktika, said in a message to journalists.
Salahuddin Ayubi, who is an interior ministry official, said that the helicopters were deployed in the rescue effort to reach the injured and fly in medical supplies and food.
The United Nations and European Union were quick to offer help. "Inter-agency assessment teams have already been deployed to a number of affected areas," the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) in Afghanistan tweeted.
Tomas Niklasson, EU special envoy for Afghanistan, tweeted: "The EU is monitoring the situation and stands ready to coordinate and provide EU emergency assistance to people and communities affected."
Afghans recounted the moment their homes were destroyed.
"It was midnight when the quake struck. The kids and I screamed. One of our rooms was destroyed," said a local resident named Fatima.
Another resident, Faisal, said he had been sent to a hospital and "saw many dead bodies".